Collecting Corby: An engaging collections project
In October we worked with Corby Heritage Centre on a HLF funded collections project. The main aim of the project was to organise the Heritage Centre’s collection whilst creating an opportunity for public engagement.
Our team of Heritage Assistants provided the capacity that Corby Heritage Centre needed to clean, pack and catalogue its collection. During the project, our Heritage Assistants learnt key collections management skills. The Heritage Centre’s volunteers also got involved in the project, learning best practice in cleaning, packing and cataloguing collections. Their new skills will inform their future work at the Heritage Centre and ensure that its collections are well managed.
This collections project gave local people a chance to engage with Corby Heritage Centre’s collections, much of which is stored off-site. All of our work took place in Corby Cube, a public hub in Corby town centre which has a high footfall. The themes of the collections – the former steelworks, Corby Pole Fair (a unique tradition, the main event being a greasy pole topped with a ham!) and Roman archaeology – captured the interest of local people who were intrigued to see the objects and tell their own stories in connection with the town’s past. We encouraged local people to ‘get hands on’ with the collection by handling the objects themselves; many were reluctant to handle the objects (perhaps the result of a look, don’t touch mentality in museums) but were happy to chat and watch our team carry out collections work. Those who engaged with the collection expressed their interest in visiting the Heritage Centre to find out more about Corby’s past. The Heritage Centre even received a new donation of what is thought to be a former fairground ride!
Culture Syndicates co-ordinated the project, constructing the funding bid, running and marketing the workshops and evaluating the project. If you have any ideas for collections projects that you would like to discuss with us, please get in touch.
To find out more about Corby Heritage Centre on its webpage: https://www.corby.gov.uk/heritage
See more of our collections projects here:
By Natasha Clegg, Projects Officer