In 2010, The Rural Museums Network explored the situation in ‘Rural Museums: Ten Years On’. A report was written by Hilary McGowan following an approach to the Network by the Museums Libraries and Archives Council.
In the year 2000, rural museums faced particular difficulties. Many museums were struggling to manage the increasing demands of holding agricultural collections and meet the changing expectations of their visitors. This was compounded by the insularity of many rural museums and the diversity of the sector.
Hilary took the time to fully understand the issues and report on the journeys taken by particular museums over this period. Many other museums and museum services throughout the UK were also able to learn from her account.
Hilary reported initial findings to the 2011 Rural Museums Network AGM at Melton Carnegie Museum on 10 May 2011: