In autumn of 2019 a number of local residents responded to an appeal made by Crawley Museum, for volunteers to assist with a review of the collection of items held by the museum.
The project launched in January 2020, just before the 1st Covid lockdown. To keep the project on track we agreed to continue to review the collection online, and throughout 2020 worked many hours, mostly via zoom meetings. Each item was assessed on merit, to determine its contribution to local history and if it should be kept within the collection or be disposed of. The team also considered factors such as heritage sector regulations, safety concerns or potential for contamination. The project was overseen by museum staff, and this phase of the project was completed by the years end.
The next phase of the project was to plan and prepare this exhibition. Again the focus has been on community engagement, and many of the original volunteers were happy to stay on to help organise this. We hope you enjoy seeing the results of this endeavour.
Method of Deciding What to Disperse
The purpose of this project was to consolidate the Crawley Museum Collection by making sure that all the objects it includes have a relevant connection to Crawley and its history, past and present.
Any object which could not be linked by means of manufacture, provenance or possession to Crawley was added to the ‘For Dispersal’ list.
The process of deciding if an object was to remain in the Collection or be dispersed involved the following steps:
Each object was individually analysed, photographed and catalogued with any original information attached to the object also read and considered.Based on the observations and existing information attached to the objects at the time of them being acquired by the Museum, discussions between the project group of volunteers and the project leader concluded if the object is a CM Collection ‘candidate’ or good for dispersal.
The Crawley Museum Trustees reviewed the recommendations using their expertise and knowledge to produce the final list of objects which would remain in the Collection, and those which would be put forward for Dispersal.
With few exceptions, the majority of the volunteers’ group recommendations were agreed by the Crawley Museum Trustees and the final List of Objects for Dispersal was created.
Community engagement was a central part of the Crawley’s Collections Revealed project
At the start of the project in early 2020 we ran face to face sessions with members of the local community. At these sessions people could handle objects from our collection and write their own labels for them which we displayed in the project cabinet in the museum
When lockdown happened in March 2020 we moved our activities online and posted photographs of objects on our website and social media for people to write labels for. When the museum reopened in summer 2020 we displayed the objects and their labels in the project cabinet.
We were planning to run more face to face sessions, but with lockdown 3 we decided to run sessions online via Zoom. We worked with three groups – LPK Learning, Diverse Crawley and Crawley Interfaith Network. We talked to them about different types of labels. They then talked about what objects they thought should be in our collection that we didn’t already have, and how they would label them. Some people kindly loaned us objects for this exhibition or donated them to us for our permanent collection.
Different groups focused on different themes.
LPK Learning discussed objects that represented lockdown.
Crawley Interfaith Network discussed objects that represented faith.
Diverse Crawley discussed objects that represented Crawley.
We’d love to work with more groups in this way. If you’re interested in arranging this please get in touch!
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|Crawley's Collections Revealed - label an object! (1)|
|Crawley's Collections Revealed|
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