Archive for April, 2014

Stores Open Day!

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

When people visit museums and see all of the cases full of objects it’s sometimes easy to forget that, for most museums, the objects on display are only the tip of the iceberg! Most museums have between 5-10% of their collections on display and Hertford Museum is the same so this Saturday, 3rd May we’ve giving you a chance to come and take a look behind the scenes at the rest of the objects in our collections!

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Come and visit our Stores in the Seed Warehouse (Maidenhead Yard, just off The Wash) and discover how we store and care for our vast and varied collections. Plus you can take a closer look at the larger vehicles in the museum collection that we could not fit in our On the Move exhibition!

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If you haven’t visited it before it’s also a great chance to come and look at our Roman corn drying oven and learn more about the fascinating Foxholes Farm excavation.

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There will be volunteers and staff on hand to answer your questions as well as a team of our conservation cleaners working on objects for our NEXT exhibition (so if you want a preview of that make sure to pop into our work room upstairs!)

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And if all of that isn’t enough to get you to drop in we will also be serving cream teas, cake and coffee from the Millbridge Rooms! The Stores will be open from 11.00 am – 3.00 pm and (other than the cream tea!) everything is FREE.

Hertford Oral History Group

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Our mission statement as a museum (which you can find on our website!) says that we aim to collect, preserve and interpret evidence of the history of the county town and surrounding parishes.

When we talk about collections people often think about objects whether archaeology, natural history or contemporary social history objects (we’ve just had several mobile phones donated to us!) but our collections are much wider than that.

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Museums also collect photographs and archive film footage and we also collect oral histories- recordings of people’s memories, experiences and opinion. At Hertford Museum we’re very lucky to also host the archive of the Hertford Oral History Group.

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HOHG was founded in 1990 with the intention of preserving the memories of Hertford residents and since then over 400 people have been recorded! Many of these recordings have been transcribed by a team of volunteers and, for the first time, some of these transcriptions are now available on the HOHG page of our website.

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More will be added as they become available but for now there are plenty of fascinating interviews to read though- you can search the transcripts by name or search for a particular theme or place if you prefer.

If you’re interested in listening to any of the oral history recordings you need to make an appointment through the museum- and don’t forget we have many more recordings belonging to the HOHG and to the museum itself that aren’t available online yet.

Family Activity volunteers needed!

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

It’s been another busy week here at the museum and we’ve seen some incredibly creative pieces of junk modelling being made in the Andrews Room- trucks and trains and racing cars and all kinds of vehicles! Plus we’ve been making badges (and there have been some very sparkly looking badges looking beautiful in the sunshine!)

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Our holiday activities are very popular and we try to keep them as low cost as possible because we know holidays can be expensive times but to make sure we can keep running them we rely on our incredible team of family activity volunteers who take turns to look after our visitors (and sometimes make their own models and pictures too!)

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At the moment our team of volunteers is a little smaller than we’d like so we’re looking for new volunteers who think they’d like to come and lend a hand. Volunteering slots are generally only 1.5-2 hours at a time and you can sign up for as many (or as few!) as you feel able to do.

If you’ve ever thought about volunteering with us then now is the perfect time to get in touch! Email Eleanor at hertfordmuseum@btconnect.com or call on 01992 582686 for a chat!

Sketches and Photographs

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

One type of enquiry we receive on a daily basis is from people looking for a photograph or sketch or painting of a place they know- sometimes it’s their house or street and sometimes it’s a well known site in their town or village- and the first place we always direct them is to our Kiosk where it’s possible to browse through hundreds (if not thousands!) of images from our photograph collection and then buy a copy.

View near Braughing, Hertford shire- James Wilcox

View near Braughing, Hertford shire- James Wilcox

But it isn’t only photographs that people are interested in and this month one of our fabulous volunteers has started to scan sketches and paintings in our collection by local arts James Wilcox. Wilcox drew many local churches and houses (and stations!) i the nineteenth century and when they’ve all been scanned and carefully checked they will also be available to browse through and purchase!

Sketch of Stortford Railway Station in the early 1840s- James Wilcox

Sketch of Stortford Railway Station in the early 1840s- James Wilcox

Of course this week there’s art of another kind being made at the museum- our family activities over Easter are all transport themed and you’ve got one more day to visit the museum and make a boat collage or a picture of a penny farthing with a moving wheel! Next week we’ll have new activities for you to try!

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On the Move- new exhibition time!

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

We’re in the middle of exhibition changeover week today! We’ve taken down Fizeek, cleared & painted the gallery and are now in the process of putting up On the Move which is an exhibition FULL of all kinds of methods of getting from A to B- from skates to scooters as the poster says!

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Because a lot of our objects are kept offsite in our stores it can be difficult for us to put some of our larger objects on display but when we get stuck the wonderful Hertford Cemetery Team come and lend a hand!

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This week they’ve helped us move a velocipede, part of a barge (!) and our wonderful folding scooter which is VERY heavy for something originally designed to be used by paratroops! We video’d a bit of the move so do take a look!

Thank you to everyone who took part in #MuseumWeek on twitter! We had loads of fun talking to you and also finding out about life behind the scenes at other museums. We’re now only a few people away from 2000 followers on twitter which is amazing!

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