The Future of Education: Making Connections

This blog is the first in a series of posts, documenting our journey reimagine the future of education at Manchester Museum. This work has been underway for a while now and draws from the collective experiences, ideas and insights of the Learning and Engagement team, colleagues from other areas of the Museum’s work, and our…

Minerals and Empire: Mapping the Collection

In this second part of his blog about Minerals and Empire, David Gelsthorpe, Curator of Earth Sciences, shares some recent work to look closer at the (hidden) storied behind some of the minerals in the Museum’s collections. As I described in my previous post, part of what I wanted to do with the research that…

Minerals and Empire: Hidden histories

In this first post in a two-part series, David Gelsthorpe, Curator of Earth Sciences, shares some recent work to uncover the hidden stories and histories of minerals in the Museum’s collections. A few weeks before lockdown I was able to open our new mineral display at the Museum along with an accompanying virtual exhibition, Minerals:…

New year, new career?

Manchester Museum is currently recruiting for an exciting new role: Early Career Creative Programmer – South Asia Gallery Performing Arts. We are delighted to present this new opportunity that is supported by the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2020-22. Do you love museums? Interested in a creative career, working with the community, having conversations and bringing…

Co-curation and/in Covid

In this guest post Nusrat Ahmed, our South Asia Gallery Lead, reflects on what it means to co-curate a gallery during a pandemic and shares some of the progress that has been made throughout 2020, thanks to the creativity and resilience of the South Asia Gallery Collective. Over the last nine months we have all…

Having and Healing in Ancient Egypt and Today

UK Grief Awareness Week (2-8 December) is an initiative from the Good Grief Trust. The idea is to raise awareness of all aspects of grief and loss, and to offer access to a choice of tailored bereavement support to all those grieving in the UK and to those working with the bereaved. Above all, it…

Together we can…

In the spirit of International Volunteer Day and this year’s theme ‘together we can‘ this guest post comes from Kate Glynn, our Volunteer Coordinator. Saturday 5 December marks International Volunteer Day; an opportunity to celebrate and promote the wonderful contributions made by volunteers around the world. At Manchester Museum, we have a fantastic team of…

New Worlds? New Narratives?

In this guest post Baz Rashid, our Secondary and Post-16 Science Coordinator, shares some of the work that was produced by a group of young people as part of Manchester Museum’s contribution to the Being Human Festival. Earlier this month, Manchester Museum participated in the seventh annual Being Human Festival which aims to “engage the…

Ask A Conservator

18th November was ‘Ask a conservator’ day and Manchester Museum’s team of talented conservators did a fantastic job of answering some very interesting questions that were posed throughout the day. As well as questions about big issues – what it means to be a conservator in a museum that is committed to building a sustainable…

Acts of Kindness

Since 1998, 13 November has marked World Kindness Day. Founded by the World Kindness Movement and subsequently adopted in 2010 as Kindness Day UK, today is all about kindness and its power to bring people together – locally, nationally and globally. Formally defined (by the Collins Dictionary) as the quality of being gentle, helpful, and…

Don’t Worry, Meet Murray

Now in its second year, International Stress Awareness Week (established by the International Stress Management Association) aims to shine a light on stress and mental health problems, and promote the support services and positive actions that can help prevent or manage the effects of stress on daily life. This guest post from Wendy Gallagher, Head…

Walk through the Wood

Imagine an art gallery the size of a city where shop fronts and windows are transformed into display cases. Imagine an art gallery that is open 24/7, free of charge, and where you can safely wander around – free to follow your own route – viewing the displays that you want to see, when you…

Captain Cornell and Alice Plant

In this post, Bryan Sitch brings us another fascinating story that has emerged around his ongoing research for the new Chinese Culture Gallery. After a brief introduction, Bryan hands over to our guest author, Polly Shih Brandmeyer, who shares her own research into the lives Captain Cornell and Alice Plant and their secret adopted daughters….

A New Normal – Perspectives from the Museum Shop

In this guest post, Natacha Pedersen our Retail Assistant, describes some of the work that has been going on over the last few months, to transform the shop. Early in 2020, our plans for the Museum Shop were focused on offering beautiful, sustainable and ethically sourced products. Looking back, it feels like a lifetime has…

An Age Friendly Date to Remember

To mark the International Day of Older Persons, this guest post from Maria Ramos acevedo, our Culture Champions Volunteer Assistant, describes some of the recent age-friendly activities supporting older adults across the city and region, and shares some of the plans for future work that will be undertaken by the newly-launched Creative Ageing Development Agency…

A New Normal – perspectives from the Vivarium Team

In this next post in our series of blogs from across the museum, Andrew Grey, Curator of Herpetology, shares some thoughts and updates on what lockdown has meant for the Vivarium Team. Lockdown for the Vivarium team has, in some ways, had little impact: responsibility for the care of live animals must continue whether there…

A New Normal – perspectives from the Learning and Engagement Team

Wendy Gallagher, Head of Learning and Engagement, has written the third post in the series, sharing what lockdown meant for the Learning and Engagement team and looking forward to what the ‘new normal’ might mean for our work… Since the museum closed in March, the Learning and Engagement team has continued to work, particularly focused…

A New Normal – perspectives from the Visitor Team

The second post in this series of blogs, sharing thoughts and updates from across the museum, comes from Chad McGitchie, Head of Visitor Teams. Well to say that this has been a very strange time for all of us on the Visitor Team is an understatement! Not being in the spaces we love talking to…

A New Normal – perspectives from the museum 1

As Manchester Museum gets ready to reopen to the public on 16 September, it seems like the right time to reflect on how the various teams across the museum have had to respond to the unexpected closure of the Museum back in March, and how they are adjusting to a ‘new normal’. To kick start…

Global Victorians – historical traces on display

This guest post from Rachel Webster, Curator of Botany, shares some work that took place earlier in the year (back in the days of actual visitors being inside the museum and we took such luxuries for granted!) following an enquiry from a lecturer about bringing a third year class to the museum as part of…

New light on old tools

To mark the end of South Asian Heritage Month, Bryan Sitch, our Deputy Head of Collections, provides an update on some research that he started 3 years ago, attempting to find out more about some of the South Asian material in the archaeology collection. Now I don’t make any claims to be an expert in…

A Remarkable Couple in China: Archibald and Alicia Little

In this guest post Bryan Sitch, our Deputy Head of Collections, shares another fascinating story, uncovered whilst undertaking research for the new Chinese Culture Gallery. In this blog, we learn about a couple whose lives created links between Manchester and China. In this series of blogs about research for the Lee Kai Hung Chinese Culture…

Adapting to Lockdown: thoughts from our preventative conservator

Since the museum closed in March, the absence of both visitors and staff has left the building eerily empty and quiet; almost frozen in time. Appearances, however, may be deceptive, as Abby Stevens, our Preventative Conservator, knows all too well. In this guest post, Abby shares some of the ways in which she has continued…

Voicing Silence

In this guest post, artist Laurence Payot reflects on her latest project, Voicing Silence, that was due to be delivered at the Museum but like so many other plans, had to be rethought when we closed our doors in March. With the country in lockdown and after numerous zoom meetings, a lot of emails, and…

Topping Out!

A brief but exciting update from Dean, our Buildings and Operations Manager and Museum Client Representative for the redevelopment project, on reaching a milestone with the construction work for our new extension. “We have reached a new milestone and ‘topped out’ our building this week.  After many months working on the groundwork and foundations it…

Age-friendly culture: a powerful resource

This guest post from Emma Horridge offers some insights into her work as Age-Friendly Culture Champions Manager for Greater Manchester. It is also a chance for us to say farewell to Emma, to wish her all the best in the future as she moves on to pastures new, and to thank her for all of…

Art Therapy at the Museum

In this guest post we hear from an Art Therapist Trainee, Chloe Sykes, who has been undertaking a placement at the Museum for the last six months. In her farewell blog post Chloe reflects on her practice and how she had to adapt it as the country went into lockdown back in March. As a…

When a Chinese Junk Came to Manchester

In this guest post, Bryan Sitch our Deputy Head of Collections, describes some of the fascinating stories that have been uncovered whilst undertaking research for the new Chinese Culture Gallery. One of the interesting things that came to light during the research for the Lee Kai Hung Chinese Culture Gallery at Manchester Museum (opening in…

Refugee Week

In this guest post to celebrate UK Refugee Week, Andrea Winn our Curator of Community Exhibitions, reflects on some of the different ways in which Manchester Museum has worked to celebrate and support refugee communities. Like many other events planned this year, Refugee Week 2020 (running from 15-21 June) has moved online. This week is…

A bedrock of awe and wonder?

A post from Hannah Chalk, Learning Manager, sharing an opportunity to get involved in shaping the proposal for a Natural History GCSE. Last Thursday I attended the online launch event of OCR’s consultation into creating a Natural History GCSE. The proposal has in fact been over a decade in the making and is the brainchild…

Museum Volunteering

To mark Volunteers Week this guest post from our Curator of Community Exhibitions, Andrea Winn, celebrates the wonderful work of Manchester Museum’s volunteers. This week is Volunteer Week: an opportunity to say a massive thank you to all our amazing volunteers for the time, enthusiasm, passion and support that they give to the museum. During…

Muso Baby Virtual! A therapist’s perspective

In this guest post Rachel Swanick, Musician and Music Therapist, adds to Elaine Bates’ recent Muso Baby Virtual! blog, with some thoughts and reflections on the move to online delivery. Muso Baby is part of a social prescribing programme run by the Manchester Museum. In April 2020, we celebrated our first birthday and with so…

Spaces and belonging

In this guest post Nusrat Ahmed, our South Asia Gallery Community Producer, shares her thoughts and reflections on how a space can create a sense of belonging. At the time of writing we are 6 weeks into Covid 19 lockdown, so it feels like a good time to write a blog about my trip to…

Autism Friendly Programming

In this guest post our Family Programme Coordinator, Vicky Grant, reflects on the evolution and development of our autism friendly programme and some opportunities for the future. April was an important month in the calendar for raising awareness about Autism, with World Autism Awareness Week from 30 March to 5 April and World Autism Awareness…

Creative inspiration at the source of the Nile

A guest blog from Andrea Winn, our Curator of Community Exhibitions, and Dr. Campbell Price, Curator of Egypt and Sudan, about their trip to Uganda at the end of last year. In December we were invited to Uganda by the British High Commission and the British Council East Africa. The idea was for us to…

Muso Baby Virtual!

A post by Elaine Bates, our Early Years Coordinator, on a new approach to supporting mothers and their babies while the museum is closed. At Manchester Museum we have been working with music therapist Rachel Swanick to deliver Muso Baby in our under 5’s gallery, Nature Discovery. This is a programme of friendly, interactive music…

An Emperor’s Seat

In this guest post, Bryan Sitch, Curator of Archaeology, writes about the Ming Emperor’s Seat that is currently installed in the Museum as part of a British Museum Spotlight Loan. When the Coronavirus lockdown was introduced, Manchester Museum was hosting a British Museum Spotlight Loan: A Ming Emperor’s Seat. This temporary exhibition opened on 7…

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…