Wednesday, 13 July 2011

tools galore

After a few very busy days we held our second collections session today and it went very well. We had a very similar format to the last session - some led introduction and then plenty of time for participants to explore the collections for themselves. Again it was a real success. It was lovely to see people finding the fascination of the objects for themselves. Highlights have to be hearing tales of childhood cutting the edges of bowling greens (objects as catalysts for reminiscence!) and sharing the story of the carved garden post!

We also tried out some of our mstery gardening objects - we asked people to use their skills of observation to work out what the objects are. We wanted to trial them before we launch them on the unsuspecting public during our summer holiday object handling sessions. We also want to provide clues in the form of paper ephemera objects that feature the plants the tools were designed for. But I am not going to say any more in case I give the game away! You will have to come along and try it.

We also tried to film some of the session - just to see what the results would be like and whether we could quickly and easily to produce object interviews for inclusion on our MODEs database and possibly also to do object training for the large number of front of house staff who lead our object handling sessions. We are hoping to see the results and then work out a plan for future filming. If it means we sacrifice time with objects then we will not be filming - I do not believe in technology for its own sake and would rather spend longer learning about the objects rather than learning how to use a new technology.

We will now begin planning our more specialised sessions for different parts of the museum. I am looking forward to doing some specific work on how we can integrate these objects into the museum's everyday life and using some of the ideas that these first two introductory sessions have come up with.