Date(s) - 12/10/2017
10:00 am - 3:30 pm
The Whipple Museum
After excellent feedback from the last five years we are very pleased to once again offer Understanding Museums: a series of five absorbing days with some of the region’s most stimulating museum minds. The programme will give participants an excellent grounding in the world of museums, its work, its challenges and its opportunities. Trustees, volunteers and paid-staff – no matter what your role the programme would benefit all who are new to the museum sector and would like an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and understanding of museums.
The ten week programme consists of five fortnightly sessions, each run at one of five different museum venues in the region. It is a complete, integrated programme, and we ask for attendance at all five sessions. There will also be an optional field trip on Thursday 19th October.
The participatory sessions take place in a variety of museum settings, and are focused on the ‘why?’ and the ‘what?’ rather than the ‘how to’. They will be delivered in both lecture and discussion format with lively and engaging speakers, a varied programme and a rich intellectual content.
The course is led by Bridget Yates, Museums Association Monument Fellow and Former Curator of Gressenhall Rural Life Museum and Assistant Director of Norfolk Museums, and Nichola Johnson, former Director of The Sainsbury Centre and of the MA Museology and Museum Leadership Programmes at the University of East Anglia, with regular contributions from SHARE Museums East partner organisations.
Participants will be asked to undertake a short piece of preparatory work before each session, for example finding out about the history of their museum or another of their choice, which they will be asked to share with the group.
Session 1: What can objects and collections do for us?
Thursday 12th October 2017 –Whipple Museum of the History of Science
Why do people collect? Why are some objects and places special to us? We consider the narratives we construct around objects and discuss how early private collections evolved into public museums.
- B. For this session, participants should bring along an object (not a photograph ) of deep personal significance.
Session 2: The History of Public Museums in England, their Structures and Governance
Thursday 26th October 2017- Grove Lodge, Cambridge
This session looks at the extraordinary richness and complexity of the museum landscape today, and considers why it has evolved in this way and why it is so important to understand different models of governance.
Session 3: Collecting, caring and exhibiting
Friday 10th November 2017 – The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge
An introduction to museum ethics and thinking about what we do with our collections and how we do it.
Session 4: Advocacy, Communication and Building your Networks
Friday 24th November 2017 – Ely Museum
Our networks, and how we represent our organisations, are increasingly important in all our working lives. This session is designed to increase professional confidence and effectiveness through exploring our networks and thinking about good partnership working.
Session 5: How can museums make a difference?
Friday 8th December 2017 – National Heritage Centre for Horseracing & Sporting Art, Newmarket
Thinking about the social, economic and cultural impact of museums. Summing up of the course.
What people said about the last Understanding Museums:
“Very useful sessions on governance and volunteers.”
“I was encouraged to think in a more structured way about how and why museums work.”
“It encouraged me to build up on the skills I already had and encouraged me out of my comfort zone without being too terrifying!”
By submitting a booking form, you are applying to attend all five sessions. Once you have placed your booking request , you will be contacted by a member of the SHARE team to discuss any further information we might need from you. (Due to the limited number of places on this course we cannot always accept bookings immediately and may have to prioritise between booking requests).