I was one of the lucky people to attend the MA Conference courtesy of Museum Development North West. Having never been to the conference before I didn’t know what to expect, but I found it to be fun, friendly and inspirational.
I loved the ‘wicked questions’ posed to four directors of national museums and was heartened to hear them talk about issues that resonate with me, particularly Duncan Dornan’s call for museums to become less hierarchical. Another highlight was the Staffordshire Horde and talking to the conservators and jewellers working on this fantastic find.
Of the seminars I attended the best for me was about object handling for people with dementia. Paul Camic of Canterbury Christ Church University and Jeremy Kimmel of Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery spoke passionately about their work, but it was the practical information that made this the stand-out event for me. The toolkit they created makes it possible for anyone to follow in their footsteps, which I hope we can do at Bolton Museum. The toolkit can be downloaded at http://www.museumsassociation.org/download?id=1150803 .
The conference was a great experience and would advise everyone to go, at least once – I’ve already ‘saved the date’ for Glasgow next year.
Bolton Library & Museum Services