The Open Museum, Glasgow

Kevin Kerrigan, 15.06.2017
Co-creating a second world war loan box with community groups
The Open Museum at Glasgow Museums Resource Centre extends the reach of the service’s collections providing free access for those who don’t or can’t visit the physical venues.

We have created handling and reminiscence kits as well as travelling exhibitions, and also facilitate community-based exhibitions and partnership project work.

In early 2015 we were approached by a number of local community groups who wanted to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of the second world war.

We already offered a loan box that covered the first and second world war, and focused on the homefront.

Taking our lead and inspiration from the community, we explored the collections to produce a much more in-depth and diverse interpretation of second world war.

The new resource covered different aspects of the war, such as life as a soldier (on both sides), women during the conflict, communications, the homefront and significant events and innovations.

The impact of the project has been:

  • A new resource for museum staff, community groups and the general public that responds to their needs.
  • An opportunity to explore and use our large social history collections.
  • An opportunity to deaccession older loan boxes and include new items to enhance the experience such as audio visual material.

We have also created a second loan box relating to the first world war, which gives us more scope to tell stories relating to specific events

One of the challenges of this project was creating something that would work as a reminiscence resource without losing the historical narrative.

This project was accomplished on a very small budget but it did require time to research, design and build the loan box.

Kevin Kerrigan is the outreach assistant at the Open Museum in Glasgow