Museum in Quarantine

On Tuesday 17th March at 5pm Manchester Museum closed its doors ‘until further notice’ in line with the UK Government’s latest advice about Coronavirus. Since then, staff have been putting various plans into place and preparing to work from home for the foreseeable future. These are most certainly unsettling times and our thoughts are with…

Building an Insect Hotel: part 1

This guest post from our Artist in Residence, the fantastic Kate Eggleston-Wirtz describes her first few sessions, working in the Beauty and the Beasts exhibition to build an insect hotel. As a multi-disciplinary artist specialising in assemblage art I was delighted to be invited to make an ‘Insect Hotel’ whilst being artist in residence within…

New technology meets ancient artefact

Over the last year, a great deal of work has been carried behind the scenes as our Collections Care Team have been busy preparing spaces and relocating collections so that they are safe and protected during the construction work. In this guest post, Sam Beath, our Senior Conservator and Collections Care Manager, describes some of…

Ever seen an elephant in a train station?

In this guest post, our Head of Learning and Engagement, Wendy Gallagher looks back on a major project that was delivered last year that shows what an inclusive and imaginative museum looks like in practice. Manchester Museum has a long and successful history of working in partnership with a wide range of people, groups and…

What’s next for primary schools at the Museum?

In this guest post, Amy McDowall our Primary Learning Coordinator, gives us a review of the last year and some exciting developments for 2020 before signing off (temporarily) as she takes a year out for her maternity leave. 2019 was a really busy year for primary schools at the Museum. Even though we don’t have…

Volunteering at the Museum

In this final post during Student Volunteering Week, Deborah Ward, our Volunteer Coordinator, offers a brief introduction to herself and how she has come to take on the role at the Museum. I have had a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the Learning and Engagement Team here at Manchester Museum as the Volunteer…

Student Volunteers: part 2

This is the second post in a special week of blogs to celebrate ‘Student Volunteering Week‘. In this post, Chris, one of our Student Volunteers, reflects on his volunteering role in the Vivarium: I’ve been working at Manchester Museum’s Vivarium for about five months now. I love it. I get to work with great people…

Student Volunteers: part 1

This week is Student Volunteering Week, so to celebrate some of the fantastic work that our student volunteers do here at Manchester Museum, we will be sharing some of their reflections on their volunteering experiences. First up is Jemma: Volunteering at the Manchester Museum has a habit of getting under your skin; once you start…

Museum Workplace Experience

This guest post from Cat Lumb, our Secondary and Post-16 Humanities Coordinator, describes the new approach to workplace experience that we are currently testing at the Museum. After providing some context, Alice and Amy, our two students, share their thoughts and experiences of the programme to date. Work Experience is an important part of a…

Museums Facing Extinction: Part 2

This second post about ‘Museums Facing Extinction’ describes how the group moved from general themes towards focused actions, with a particular focus on the ideas that were discussed around the theme of care. Having discussed the 11 themes in detail, aligned them with one of the four action-levels and, finally, each cast a vote for…

Proud Trust at the Museum

A guest post from Mattie Davies (they/them), our Inflatable Museum Support Assistant, about The Proud Trust and their visit to Manchester Museum. When I’m not at Manchester Museum, taking the Inflatable Museum out to schools or facilitating various other activities and events, I work at The Proud Trust as a youth work coordinator. The Proud…

Values

Earlier this week we had our first all staff day of the year. Getting everyone in in the same place at the same time is no mean feat, so it was great to see that the vast majority of us were able to attend. The plan for the day was ambitious, bringing in colleagues from…

Museums Facing Extinction? Part 1

A post from Hannah, Learning Manager, about Museums Facing Extinction; an intensive four-day long workshop held in Berlin last November. In this, the first of two posts, Hannah shares the process that was undertaken to identify and agree on four key themes that address different levels of action for the sector. What happens when you…

3D-Jigsaws from China

A guest post from Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections, on reassembling material from the Museum’s collection of Chinese material, as he continues to search for objects and stories for the new Lee Kai Hung Gallery of Chinese Culture, due to open in 2021/2. Imagine trying to do a jigsaw but you don’t have the…

Spotlight at the Museum

A guest post from Baz, our Secondary and Post-16 Science coordinator, and Hina, a local student, on a new skills development programme. Every year the University of Manchester runs the Manchester Access Programme (MAP), a flagship widening participation scheme for local Year 12 students that aims to support entry to the University of Manchester, or…

We’re Off!

A guest post from Rowena, our Projects Coordinator, on recent progress with construction work at the Museum… Only 1 month into the construction, we are now the proud owners of a very large hole in the ground, as the construction team dig down and prepare to lay the foundations for two brand new galleries. They’ve…

The True Cost of Christmas

A guest post by Helen Middleton, founder of the Furniture Poverty Hub, on a seasonal installation on the Museum’s third floor as part of the Heritage Futures Studio programme. Christmas is a wonderful time of the year when friends and family get together, but with Manchester setting a target of being a zero carbon city…

Curating Climate

A post from Hannah, Learning Manager, about a recent trip to Oslo for a conference about museums and climate change. At the end of October I was lucky enough to visit the beautiful city of Oslo to attend and speak at an international workshop: ‘Curating Climate – museums as contact zones of climate research, education…

Women Missionaries in China: Part 3

The final post in this series by Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections, and co-authored by Fang Zong, a member of the Museum’s Visitor Team, on some of the missionary links between Manchester and China that he has discovered as he searches for material and stories for the new Lee Kai Hung Gallery of Chinese…

An update on evening events

A guest post from Lowell, our Events Supervisor, who takes a moment to look back on a couple of our recent events, before sharing some of the evening events that will be taking place at the Museum for the remaining months of 2019. After a week in which the Museum hosted the launch of the…

Championing Age-Friendly Culture

A guest post from Emma Horridge, Age-Friendly Culture Champions Manager (Greater Manchester), on some recent conferences that she has attended to share the best practices developed through the Greater Manchester Culture Champions programme. In September and October, I was fortunate enough to be invited to a number of conferences to speak about the Greater Manchester…

Pakistani Diaspora Leaders Program 2019

A guest post from Nusrat Ahmed, our South Asia Gallery Community Producer, reflecting on some of the ideas, connections and skills that she gained through the Pakistani Diaspora Leaders Programme. On 2nd October I embarked on a 4 day leadership programme run by Common Purpose, a not-for-profit organisation that is devoted to developing leaders who…

Women Missionaries in China: Part 2

The second in a series of posts from Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections, sharing some of the stories that he has uncovered around the missionary and educational links between Manchester and China, as he searches for material and stories for the new Lee Kai Hung Gallery of Chinese Culture, due to open in 2021….

Research Uncovered

A guest post from Alex Bennett who has been working with Anna Bunney, our Engagement Manager, on a 3-month long ‘Professional Internship Placement’ at the Museum. I’m currently working towards a PhD in biology and for the past 12 weeks I have been on a placement at Manchester Museum. This placement has been a great…

Unruly Subjects

A guest post from Emma Horridge, Age-Friendly Culture Champions Manager (Greater Manchester), reflecting on the Unruly Subjects: Ireland & India event, held back in August, as part of the programme associated with the Jallianwala Bagh 1919: Punjab Under Siege exhibition. Ever since I first heard that Manchester Museum would be exploring topics like partition and…

Women Missionaries in China: Part 1

The first of three guest posts by Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections, who shares some of the missionary links between Manchester and China, that he has uncovered in his search for material and stories for the new Lee Kai Hung Gallery of Chinese Culture, due to open in 2021. Early in 2018 I was…

South Asia Gallery Design Camp

A guest post by Helen Schulte and colleagues from Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA), our South Asia Gallery design team, on the South Asia Gallery Design Camp earlier in the summer. In August 2019, RAA attended the South Asia Gallery Design Camp hosted by the South Asia Gallery Collective and Manchester Museum staff. The Design Camp…

Museum of Sanctuary

A guest post from Andrea Winn, Curator of Community Exhibitions, who shares some exciting news about Manchester Museum’s new status as a Museum of Sanctuary. In July Manchester Museum attended the ‘Manchester City of Sanctuary Big Conversation’ at Stretford Public Hall where we were delighted to be awarded with Museum of Sanctuary status. This is…

Documenting History

Alongside the Museum’s ‘Jallianwala Bagh 1919: Punjab under Siege‘ exhibition, we are holding a series of events. On 5 September the Museum will be hosting ‘Documenting History’, a book panel event, in partnership with Blackwell’s book shop. The event will bring together Vanessa Holburn, Bali Rai and Saurav Dutt; authors who have extensively researched and…

Shabtis in School

A guest post from Amy McDowall, Primary Learning Coordinator, on a fantastic new approach to developing connections between schools and collections. We know that many schools are deeply missing our hugely popular Ancient Worlds galleries, especially the workshops we ran for over 20,000 pupils every year. During our part-closure for hello future, we’re experimenting with…

Clocking On: A design challenge

A guest post from Michael Whitworth, Head of Commercial Operations, reflecting on his work with Newall Green High School to support a Design and Technology project. This project is part of the Museum’s on going partnership, led by Cat Lumb our Secondary and Post 16 Humanities Coordinator, to develop new ways of connecting with schools…

China Gallery Morris Abraham Cohen (1897-1970)

In this guest post, Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections, provides an update on his search of material for the new Lee Kai Hung Gallery of Chinese Culture, due to open in 2021. It is now a couple of months since I began my Headley Trust with Art Fund Fellowship and I have been having…

South Asia Gallery Collective visit the stores

A guest post from Rachel Webster, Curator of Botany, and David Gelsthorpe, Curator of Earth Sciences, on exploring the stores with the South Asia Gallery Collective. At the end of June the South Asia Gallery collective paid a visit to look at some of the South Asia-related stories waiting to be told in the geology…

European Researchers Night

Friday 27 September is European Researcher’s Night and for the fifth time Manchester Museum will be hosting a special late opening showcasing Manchester’s finest researchers and their work for an adult audience. There will be research on show, music, drinks and a lively atmosphere. Our participation in European Researchers Night is funded by the Natural…

Nature Connections – Part 2

This second post by Hannah Chalk, Learning Manager and Katherine Majewski, Curatorial Assistant (Vivarium) provides some more detail on a number of topics and questions that were raised during the ‘Nature Connections’ conference, that we felt were particularly relevant to the Museum’s work. As mentioned in the previous blog post, what makes nature connectedness particularly…

Call for artists to explore Partition

Manchester Museum and the Whitworth are planning a partnership event on Saturday 17 August to commemorate the history of the Partition of India. We are looking for two artists who will be paid a fee to facilitate a family-friendly creative workshop exploring: Either: The history of the Partition of India should be integral to the…

Nature Connections – Part 1

This is the first of two blog posts, co-authored by Hannah Chalk, Learning Manager and Katherine Majewski, Curatorial Assistant (Vivarium), about the ‘Nature Connections’ conference that we attended earlier this month, and how it relates to our work in the Museum. In this first post, we provide a brief overview of nature connectedness and why…

Muso Baby: a therapist’s perspective

A guest post from Rachel Swanick, musician and music therapist, who has been working alongside the Health and Wellbeing team at Manchester Museum and The Whitworth for just over 2 years. Here, Rachel adds to Elaine’s earlier post about the Muso Baby social prescribing pilot, and provides additional insight from her own perspective. The purpose…

Out and About in Geneva

A guest post from Barinur Rashid, Secondary and Post-16 Science Coordinator, and Nusrat Ahmed, South Asia Galley Community Producer, about their recent trip to Geneva. Back in May, we visited two museums in Geneva to explore different ways that museums work with communities and in search of some ideas and inspiration for the new South…

Bittersweet

A guest post from Ellie Doney about Bittersweet, an After Hours event at the Museum back in February, hosted by FEAST Journal in collaboration with The National Caribbean Heritage Museum, Museumand. Ellie is an artist and materials specialist who is currently engaged in practice-led research into our relationship with materials. Her work explores the crossover…

Out and About: Berlin

A guest post from Amy McDowall, Primary Learning Coordinator; Olivia Brett, Volunteer Coordinator; and Karen Brackenridge, Volunteer Assistant, about their recent trip to Berlin. First up is Amy: My role is coordinating the programmes for primary schools, so I was really grateful to meet with Marijam and Lisa from the Märkisches Museum, part of Berlin’s…

Our shared cultural heritage

A guest post by Sadia Habib who has recently joined the Museum as coordinator for the ‘Our Shared Cultural Heritage’ project. For the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about how cultural institutions can become useful and inspiring spaces for young people interested in doing creative work about identity, belonging and social justice.  What would…

Muso Baby: social prescribing pilot

A guest post from Elaine Bates, Early Years Coordinator, on pilotting Muso Baby, a social prescribing programme, at the Museum. As part of ther hello future project, we are piloting a series of activities with health partners with a view to to developing a portfolio of social prescribing programmes. This builds on our extensive arts…

South Asia Gallery Collective at the Whitworth

A guest post by Irit Narkiss, Conservator of Objects and Access and the South Asia Gallery’s designated conservator, on a recent research trip with the South Asia Gallery Collective. The South Asia Gallery Collective has recently trooped down the road to the Whitworth to explore South Asian textiles with Assistant Curator of Textiles and Wallpaper,…

Help lead us into the future

How would you like to work with a remarkable encyclopaedic collection of over 4 million objects and specimens, a committed team of curators and conservators and lead the development of new exhibition spaces and programmes, all at one of the world’s leading university museums? We are pleased to announce a new opportunity to work with…

Manchester Museum’s first Iftar party

A guest post from Sadia Habib, the Museum’s new ‘Our Shared Cultural Heritage Coordinator’, about the Museum’s first Iftar party on 16 May. Manchester Museum had its first Iftar gathering in its 127 year history, and it was the hottest ticket in town! In recent years, gigantic Iftar events have become all the rage and…

Highlights from the China Collection

In this guest post, Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections, shares some of his work to explore the Museum’s China Collections in search of material for the new Lee Kai Hung Gallery of Chinese Culture, due to open in 2021. As many of you know I am very lucky to have been selected for a…