Adam Corsini of the Museum of London accepts the award for winning the innovation category

Museums + Heritage award winners announced

Jonathan Knott, 22.05.2018
Honours include special recognition for the Wolfson Foundation
The winners of the 2018 Museums + Heritage awards were announced last week.

The 13 categories were dominated by institutions in London and southern England, which together accounted for 11 of the winners.

These included the Museum of London Archaeology, which won the innovation category for its #ArchiveLottery initiative, where people give a random number to the museum’s archaeological archive, either through Twitter or on-site. The archive then uses this to select an object from its collection, and tweets a photograph, brief description and catalogue link.

University College London (UCL) Culture won the educational initiative category for its Museums on Prescription research project, which investigated the value of heritage encounters in social prescribing.

And the Grant Museum of Zoology, one of UCL’s museums, won the best project on a limited budget for the Whale Weekender, where members of the public helped reassemble the 8-metre skeleton of a northern bottlenosed whale. The judges said: "Brilliantly demonstrating how museums can effectively introduce content from collection stories, this winning project is both authentic and participatory. It is conservation in action".

The only UK award winner not from London or southern England was the Scottish Football Museum, which won the volunteers of the year team award for its Football Memories Volunteer Network, which works with people living with dementia.

The Holland Open Air Museum and exhibition designers Kossman.dejong triumphed in the international category for its permanent exhibition, the Canon of Dutch History.

New this year were two best shop awards. The best shop with a turnover of less that £500,000 was judged to be at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery in Exeter, and the best shop with a turnover of more than £500,000 was the redesigned gift shop at London’s Tower Bridge.

In addition to the 13 standard category winners, a special recognition award was given to the Wolfson Foundation. Accepting the honour, the organisation’s chief executive Paul Ramsbottom said “our success is your success”.