Treasures from the Earth

Treasures from the Earth

Vicky Dawson , 16.02.2015
A touring exhibition designed to be flexible and hardwearing
Treasures from the Earth was a touring exhibition about the archaeology of south west England created by a partnership between Plymouth City Museum, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter, and the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro. It toured 13 museums in Devon, Somerset and Cornwall between 2009 and 2012.

The show consisted of three graphic panels and one display case of finds from the partners’ collections. Another display case and graphic panel were customised by each venue.

The three-year project had a budget of £65,000, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council’s Renaissance funding. Each museum received about £5,000 to host the exhibition for three months, undertake access training and run an activities programme.  

A project manager coordinated activity, with volunteer support estimated to be worth about £21,200.

Historic environment departments, finds liaison officers, amateur archaeologists, metal detectorists, university departments and re-enactors all contributed to the exhibition, supporting the 13 host museums with images, research, training, finds, talks and activities.  

As a touring show, the bespoke hardware was designed to be flexible, easily transported and hardwearing.  

The display cases continue to be used in the region, with one of them featuring in an ongoing loan of a 4,000 year old gold lunula from the British Museum to Penlee House Museum in Penzance. The interactives are used for educational events and activity days by the Royal Cornwall Museum and Plymouth City Museum, and some of the other museums have added their bespoke graphic panel to their permanent galleries.

We have provided resources on creating touring exhibitions, which are available on the website of the South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries.

Vicky Dawson was the project manager for Treasures from the Earth