Fringe Meeting at MA Conference

Conference delegates will have an opportunity to catch up with the Network’s recent activities and plans at a fringe meeting of the Museums Association Conference and Exhibition on Thursday 8th November 12.30 – 14.00.

http://www.museumsassociation.org/conference/fringe-meetings-conference-2012

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Rural Museums in the Museums Journal

Two members of the Network receive attention in this months edition of the Museums Journal. Louise Grey interviews The Yorkshire Museum of Farming at Murton for the series on UK specialist collections, and Jane Weeks reviews the new Abbot’s Hall displays at the Musuem of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket.

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Abbot’s Hall Reopens

Congratulations to the Museum of East Anglian Life on the reopening of Abbot’s Hall following a £3m HLF supported refurbishment.

Read more about the museum.

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St Fagans Development

Plans to redevelop St Fagans National History Museum have received support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  The Museum’s ambitious and comprehensive ‘Making History’ project has received HLF Stage 1 funding.

Read more about the project.

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‘The Power of the Plough’ published

The RMN is very pleased to publish The Power of the Plough by Sally Ackroyd and Judith Carruthers.

Image: The Power of the Plough -- click to download (PDF format) Being large items ploughs are awkward to accommodate, and nowadays few people fully understand the differences between one and another or how they were used. This makes them a challenge to interpret but Sally’s and Judith’s work considers the many interesting and absorbing ways we treat ploughs and ploughing in our museums.

Download The Power of the Plough (PDF format).

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AGM and Conference at Acton Scott

On Thursday 24th May the Network held the 2012 AGM at Acton Scott Historic Working Farm, Church Stretton.

photograph: Mike Wright demonstrates wheelwrighting at Acton Scott © Rural Museums Network

Mike Wright demonstrates wheelwrighting at Acton Scott © Rural Museums Network

Following the business of the AGM we heard from Sally Ackroyd about her publication ‘The Power of the Plough’ and copies were distributed fresh off the press. We discussed digitising Distributed National Collection data and formally established a ‘DNC working group’ to help with this process. We also saw the working draft of the new RMN website that will be more interactive, having social media links. Continue reading

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Professor Alexander Fenton

Professor Alexander Fenton, the acknowledged leading expert on Scottish rural life, has died. During his long career he was Director of the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, the School of Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh, and of the European Ethnological Research Centre.  He was well known and liked my many members of the Rural Museums Network, and will be sadly missed.

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The Power of the Plough

Two years ago the Rural Museums Network successfully bid to the Museums Association Effective Collections programme to run a ploughs project.

Image: plough, © Rural Museums Network

English Ploughs, 1748 © Rural Museums Network

The second stage of the exercise has been to consider and review the surprising number of ways that museums interpret ploughs and ploughing. The Network has appointed Sally Ackroyd and Judith Caruthers to create a resource that will help museums to make the most of their ploughs, and their booklet ‘The Power of the Plough’ will be published shortly. Continue reading

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Training People in Heritage Skills

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, and the Museum of East Anglian Life have just completed the first six months of a Heritage Lottery Funded project to train people in a range of heritage and craft skills.

The project will run for 3 and a half years, and train about 60 people in total (for traineeships between 3 months and 18 months).

Attached is the first edition of ‘Trainmail’ – which will feature news about the trainees. If you would like us to send this to you (will be approx every quarter), or would like further information about the project then please get in touch.

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‘Ten Years On’ report published

The Network is very pleased to publish the report Rural Museums: Ten Years On. It was written by Hilary McGowan following an approach to the Network by the Museums Libraries and Archives Council.

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