Cumbria Museum Consortium Apprenticeship Video

Here is the link to the apprentice film:, which you may remember seeing on the big screen at Tullie!  Creative Choices have been great in promoting it here.

And you can find a link to the apprentice blog here, which has been very popular, with almost 13,000 views now.

I’ve found a drawer full of old coins. What do I do about them? Numismatics seminar

Places are still available for our numismatics seminar on 4th November.

Where do you start when you find a collection of coins you didn’t know you had but you don’t have a numismatist on staff? Join us to find out what happened when staff at Knowsley Hall found hundreds of Roman coins hidden amongst the family papers. Dr Stephen Lloyd, Curator of the Derby Collection, and experts from Ormskirk and West Lancashire Numismatics Society, will talk through their discoveries, the issues they encountered with establishing provenance, researching, cataloguing and storing them, and the practical solutions they found. Henry Flynn, Project Curator for the Money and Medals Network, will also talk about cataloguing, researching and storing smaller coin collections.

To book your place, visit our Eventbrite page.


MDNW Regional Benchmarking Survey

We’ve had a few technical issues with our annual regional benchmarking survey recently and have had to change its web address. Please use to input your details from now on (if we’ve directly emailed you the longer web address in the last few days, you can use either one).

Thank you for contributing your data to our state of the region report.

Collections Trust – Collections Skills Seminars

Free Collections Skills seminars set up by Collections Trust and funded by ACE are available on dates and locations below. To book a place follow the link:

  • 6 November – Manchester – Manchester Meeting Place (part of the University)
  • 1 December – Brighton – Brighton Dome
  • 13th January – York – The Hospitium
  • 25 February – Exeter- RAMM
  • 18th March – Colchester – Colchester Castle

British Science Week – Call for Partners

British Science Week at your Museum?

Your group could be eligible for a grant of £500. Plus you can receive free support, resources and activity ideas to help celebrate British Science Week 2015 (BSW), 13 – 22 March 2015.

The British Science Association has teamed up with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to provide funding of £500 to community groups and organisations. The grant is aimed to engage audiences who are traditionally hard to reach with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) activity.  As such, we hope this grant will inspire groups and organisations who do not traditionally run STEM events to try something new for British Science Week. Applying is easy! Please read the grant guidelines. Then visit our website for additional information and to access our simple online application form:

The closing date for applications is 2nd December 2014.

Curious About…  STEM and British Science Week?

This event, taking place on Wednesday 22 October, is for museum and heritage educators and will focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.  In partnership with STEM experts and the British Science Association, this event will help you to link your collections to STEM and prepare for National Science and Engineering week in March 2015.

Working in partnership with Museum Development North West and the Group for Education in Museums, Curious Minds provides FREE workshops for the heritage education sector in the North West.

MA Conference Report 2014

Despite having worked in museums since 2002, this was my first visit to conference.  Previous experiences of the MA had made me think that they were somewhat divorced from life in a medium sized local authority museums service- that they could be seen as somewhat elitist, and who has time and money to attend a two day conference whilst the work piles up back at the ranch. So what could the conference do for me and my service?

The slogan for this year’s conference was ‘Museums Change Lives’. In all honestly this automatically put me on edge. Museums work hard to influence lives, to bring enrichment, experiences and opportunities to existing and new audiences. They work with multiple agencies across their local communities to bring something new and worthwhile to the table. They receive funding for innovative work in areas such as well being, supporting people living with dementia and tackling anti-social behaviour. But I have always been weary of claiming that an interaction with a museum has successfully and single-handedly got someone through a mental health crisis or a drug dependency, for instance. The needs of funders force us to state these lofty ambitions in order to prove the worth of our work, but in reality I feel that museums INFLUENCE and IMPACT on lives. It may well change them, but this is usually in conjunction with a whole host of services that support the individual.

But I agree with the ambitious plans to make sure museums are recognised for the work they do, the work people might not realise goes on, to stake our claim to the importance of museums in outreach and linking to social agendas, and just what fantastic spaces our museums and galleries are.

Removing myself from my soapbox, here is a little detail about the session and messages that have stuck with me a week after the event.

The absolute highlight was the Friday key note speech – Mat Fraser’s Cabinet of Curiosity: how disability was kept in a box.  I, and I suspect many of my colleagues, want to engage with the subject of disability, but felt that our collections don’t represent the subject and feel they have a lack of expertise in curating it. Mat’s performance was powerful, and thought provoking and gave ways to museums to re-interpret collections. This re-imaging was inspired by his presentation and work with Leicester University, and I think gave everyone in the auditorium a wake up call. Having missed his performance in Manchester I can only hope we in the North West can bring him back here soon!

I also attended a workshop on Front of House and its importance as a profession in itself in museums, and not just a stepping stone to other areas of museum work. I was interested to hear that many museums still look for professional qualifications such as a museums MA for Front of House jobs. Here in Salford we always look much more to transferable skills brought in through experience in venue management, customer services and education, though we do look for a keen interest in museums and galleries. Of course, interviewees with a post graduate qualification are often suitable as they have used the opportunity to gain experience in the above areas in museum setting, but we in no way see it as an essential. We need people who can interact with our visitors, manage the building and have an enthusiasm to learn about the collections and pass that knowledge on.

Other workshops included an interesting panel presentation and discussion around links between academic institutions and museums. As we see an increasing move towards curators and collections managers who are generalists not specialists, I feel that we need more of these links to apply the academic rigour to our collections that then give them the attention and regard they deserve. The session linked nicely to a networking event I attended at IWMN recently which had a similar theme, and it is an area I am interested in developing. Whilst we have strong links with student courses it would be good to see how we could link into post graduate research projects.

Another strong session was the panel discussion ‘Politicians are People too’ which featured Jenny Randerson (Junior Minister, House of Lords and Wales Officer) and Alun Ffred Jones (Plaid Cymru assembly member and former Welsh government Minister for Heritage)and was chaired by Adrian Masters. This was a great opportunity to listen to people involved in decision making in heritage about what they saw as its role, and how to make it an agenda item for politicians. It was refreshing to see what I took to be a real interest and passion for heritage, and an understanding of its importance.

Finally, a resilience session introduced me to a way of assessing your museum’s resilience by using a framework to measure sustainability and potential growth. Part of the positive from that session was the round table chat with colleagues from other museums, to see how they were managing, what they were doing, and whether they had had success with a strategic approach to measuring resilience and sustainability.

So, what did conference do for me? Admittedly, there were parts where I wondered if they really knew just how difficult it was to keep the doors open in a museum, and how little time there now is for development and, in a certain way, creativity. And yes, it was difficult to take myself out of the office for 2 days and still keep an eye on emails etc from a distance. But I have to say it was a positive experience.  As well as meeting up and networking with colleagues of old, I also have some interesting chats with people I would never have met otherwise. And over all it reminded me that museums are a profession, there are standards and guidelines and ways forward for museums which were represented at the conference. It made me want to re-examine how we think about our collections, how we often don’t have enough confidence and pride in them when compared to larger organisations – but that that should be central to what we do and why we are here. It also made me proud of all the work we are managing to continue doing in Salford, that we do show innovation and perseverance, and that we serve an important role to our visitors and local communities.

Ceri Horrocks

Heritage Development Manager

Salford Heritage Services

Copyright for the Non-Specialist

Friday 28th November from 9:30 to 16:00 (BST)

Why Attend?

In light of brand new copyright laws, this practical workshop, developed and facilitated by leading IP Consultant Naomi Korn, has been specifically created for museum staff to help them deal with copyright and other Intellectual Property Rights as part of their work, and to help them understand the impact of the new copyright laws.


9:30 – 9:45          Arrivals and coffee

10:00 – 10:15     Welcome and introductions

10:15 – 10:45     Setting the Scene and Copyright Quiz

10:45 – 11:25     Copyright brain drain

11:25 – 12:05     New copyright laws and what they mean for you!

12:05 – 12:35     Discussion

12:35 – 13:20     Networking Lunch

13:20 – 13:50     Social Media Legal Issues overview

13:50 – 14:20     Digitisation and copyright workflow

14:20 – 15:00     Digitisation and copyright scenarios

15:00 – 15:10      Tea/coffee break

15:10 – 15:40      Risk Management, Orphan Works and Scenarios

15:40 – 15:50      General discussion

15:50 – 16:00     Wrap up

Aims and Objectives

  • Equip staff with the appropriate levels of knowledge about IPR and licensing to help them as part of their daily work
  • Discuss the types of tools which are available to enable staff to deal with IPR and licensing as part of their work
  • Present changes to the legislation and their impact
  • Provide a forum for questions and answers, discussions and networking
  • Introduce key resources for further support

This event is part of our “For the Non-Specialist” strand of workshops.

To book your place please visit our Eventbrite page.

Giving Value Roadshows

Places are still available at the free Giving Value Roadshows.  Launching a major HLF funded programme to improve fundraising capacity in the archive sector, in association with the Institute of Fundraising, dates confirmed for these ‘taster sessions’ in the North are Tuesday 21 October at Durham University Library and Thursday 20 November at Archives + in Manchester.  Further dates are still to be announced.  Booking for Durham is available now via this link, and booking for Manchester will open soon.

Intern Opportunity: Curious Minds

Digital and Marketing Intern

Curious Minds is pleased to be able to offer a unique opportunity for a proactive 18-24 year old to develop their emerging digital and marketing skills.

Curious Minds are a high profile and highly regarded arts and education charity. We support schools, youth services and local authorities to connect children and young people with the region’s best arts and cultural organisations.

Our Digital and Marketing Intern will help us

  • raise the profile of Curious Minds
  • build relationships with other organisations
  • develop our online information portal Culture Hubs
  • bring positive attention to our other exciting programmes of activity

For more information on this exciting role and how to apply please visit the Curious Minds page.

Creative Europe: Culture Funding Opportunities

Creative Europe’s ‘Culture’ sub-programme, as the previous ‘Culture 2007-2013 programme’, supports cooperation and exchange between arts, culture and heritage organisations across different European countries.

We will present the four funding opportunities and the eligibility conditions, discuss how to develop applications and how to build a good project.

Cooperation Projects are still the core to the programme, accounting for 70% of the sub-programme funding allocation with annual deadlines for both ‘small’ and ‘large’ projects.

Literary Translation by established publishers will continue to be supported

European Networks will support sustained learning and exchange between EU networks with varying specialisms

European Platforms will encourage innovative approaches to audience development

Creative Europe’s focus has shifted from ‘intercultural dialogue’ to new objectives of:

  • Capacity building
  • Audience development
  • Projects that strengthen the cultural and creative sectors through new ways of working.

We will also be joined by previous Creative Europe/Culture beneficiaries, sharing their first-hand experience of the ins and outs, highs and lows of being part of a transnational cooperation project

To book a place at this event and for for information, please visit Creative Europe’s event page.

This event is free and open to organisations in the creative and cultural sectors. If you have registered and are unable to attend, please let us know in advance so that we can reallocate your ticket.


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