Covid-19 Resources and info

Covid-19 Resources and info

To support museum staff and volunteers at this time we are launching our first digital Heritage Cafe‘s  – we thought it may be useful to have an online space where we could come together, share advice, ask for support or just have a natter over a cup of tea? On Friday 10th April , we would like to host two Zoom sessions for you to join us. One at 10am and one at 2pm. Just for an hour or so. If you would be interested in taking part, drop Nicola an email here and we’ll send you a link to the session.

Collections security – It is important to check with insurers on this, but if it absolutely essential for you to check on collections from time to time, please see the template letter from Groam House Museum. It is important to ensure safety of staff and volunteers in the first instance, but if one person is making as few trips as possible and preferably by foot, taking all necessary precautions such as hand-washing etc, then it is possible to do. some pandemic guidance can be found here – https://icom.museum/en/covid-19/resources/recommendations-for-museum-conservation/?fbclid=IwAR3bmuPF9p5ZGrlN3bmoXC9qSyVEisva1h783r7scJmAK5LlUy0ADOI6UyI

The first XpoNorth Heritage Hangouts were a great success and thanks to all who took part. If you would be interested in taking part in one – you can still get in touch and I’ll add you to the list for the next round. They are an opportunity to discuss different ways you can utilise technology to engage with your audiences; develop digital experiences; create immersive content and/or how to monetise content. email nicolahenderson@xponorth.co.uk

On monetising – one thing we discussed with many museums last week was using Patreon https://www.patreon.com/ It is a bit like an online friends subscription service and a place where you could add special content for your members etc. if you would like to know more don’t hesitate in getting in touch!

And finally some more links to useful information at this time and a link to free measuring social impact courses which could be extremely helpful going forward:

MGS updated that all accredited museums will have their award status extended for 12months. – https://www.museumsgalleriesscotland.org.uk/accreditation-recognition/accreditation-scheme-frequently-asked-questions-faqs/?utm_content=buffer8ae31&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

MGS have also launched their emergency funds to support the sector through this crisis – https://museumsgalleriesscotland.org.uk/stories/mgs-announces-new-funds-to-support-scotlands-most-vulnerable-museums-and-galleries-and-to-support-digital-and-home-working/

AiM are hosting fee online advice surgeries – https://www.aim-museums.co.uk/coronavirus-support-resources-online-advice-surgeries/?utm_content=buffer93f8c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

NLHF have launched their emergency fund – https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/news/heritage-emergency-fund-launches-help-sector

More NLHF info https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/blogs/how-we-will-be-helping-heritage-community-during-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic

Some useful resources from an email from the Archives NRA Jiscmail list here https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A2=ind2003&L=ARCHIVES-NRA&P=R85448

AiM – https://www.aim-museums.co.uk/coronavirus-resources/

Creative Scotland – https://www.creativescotland.com/what-we-do/latest-news/archive/2020/02/coronavirus-advice

Third Sector Resilience Fund – https://scvo.org.uk/support/coronavirus/funding/for-organisations/third-sector-resilience-fund

XpoNorth resource library – https://xponorth.co.uk/resources/covid-19-coronavirus-resources

Free social impact courses from Just Enterprise – https://justenterprise.org/demonstrate-social-impact/e-learning-impact-measurement/

Internationalising Our Culture and Heritage Course – https://xponorth.co.uk/resources/our-culture-and-heritage-international-market-opportunities-elearning

OSCR guidance – https://www.oscr.org.uk/guidance-and-forms/covid-19-guidance-for-charities/2-funding-and-finance/?fbclid=IwAR0XTEG5EbBEif6kLv-OUiAYuCHIkDlTe6JFcZ4pZMUsWxq2ZRFJ6xg5PKk

Visit Scotland Market Intelligence – https://www.visitscotland.org/binaries/content/assets/dot-org/pdf/marketing-reports/visitscotland-market-intelligence-290420.pdf

Social Distancing Toolkit for Museums https://www.designbyccd.com/wp-content/plugins/pdfjs-viewer-shortcode/pdfjs/web/viewer.php?file=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.designbyccd.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2020%2F05%2FCCD-x-Smartify-Re-mobilising-Museums-White-Paper-1.pdf&dButton=true&pButton=true&oButton=false&v=1.5.1#zoom=auto





XpoNorth Heritage

XpoNorth Heritage

XpoNorth launch Museum and Heritage Support Programme

We are really excited to launch XpoNorth Heritage as a dedicated support strand for the Highlands and Islands Heritage community. This support programme is unique in structure and will be completely driven by the needs of the sector; it will also interface with XpoNorth’s wider specialist advice programme, encouraging deeper cross-sectoral interaction that will lead to new and innovative ways of working. You say what you need and the programme aims to help you find a solution!  

So, what it is and what can it do for me?

The heritage programme aims to offer support through providing additional capacity and expertise to help turn your ideas for building more resilient organisations into actions. The programme will help the Heritage sector to develop ideas that will attract new and/or diversify existing audiences, investigate the potential to create new income channels or build capacity within your organisation by creating new connections across the creative industries. We all know that there is a great range of skills and expertise across the sector and there are many excellent ideas as to how we can change our ways of working in order to become more resilient in difficult economic times – and in the face of a climate crisis. However, for many of us the offer of a helping hand and advice can be enough to bring the idea to fruition. This programme hopes to help you with that. You may have a story you want to tell using new technology, or an event programme that you want to encourage more people to engage with remotely or an innovative new product idea. Whatever you are thinking, get in touch and we can chat through how we can help you reach your goal. 

How will it work?

If you have an idea for meeting challenges or creating new opportunities, and would like support in developing it further and/or access to specific creative industries experts (such as digital, retail, publishing, storytelling, sponsorship etc) then please fill out this form – https://xponorth.co.uk/sector-support-programmes.  One of our team will then get back to you to discuss your project and what kind of support you need. Essentially by filling out the simple request form, you get a commitment to provide you with an advisor who has time to work with you to develop your idea or put you in touch with the relevant expert to support your project. It is important to note that this programme is not about telling the sector what it needs – it is about you telling us what you need. It may be specialist advice on a product you want to develop, or how best to cultivate and engage new and existing audiences; a key area for the project is also the potential for the introduction of new technologies to enhance physical customers experiences or leverage exciting remote interaction. You may be looking to better articulate your story and the provenance around it, or how to demonstrate the value of your idea to key stakeholders.

Anything else?

Accompanying this central element of the programme will be a series of events looking at examples of where experiments with new technologies or creative industry partnerships have helped the heritage sector identify new income streams and/or attract new audiences and inspire ideas. If you have a project you would like to share with the sector, then please do get in touch – nicolahenderson@xponorth.co.uk. There will also be opportunities to access training and skills development as part of the wider XpoNorth programme.  

Nicola will be planning some visits to discuss the programme with you and to ensure it best meets the sector’s needs so please expect an email in the near future – in the meantime if you have any questions do not hesitate in getting in touch nicolahenderson@xponorth.co.uk.

Nicola Henderson who is working with XpoNorth on the Heritage Support Programme

 XpoNorth Heritage is supported by HIE, Museums Galleries Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland and Creative Scotland

Armadale Castle opens doors for new season and launches new bar-bistro

Armadale Castle opens doors for new season and launches new bar-bistro

Armadale Castle, Gardens & Museum opens its doors for the new visitor season on Monday 2 March. The Visit Scotland 5 star visitor attraction has extended its opening in response to Skye’s growing popularity as a year-round destination. The castle gardens and museum will be open Monday-Friday during March and November, and daily from April to end October.

Also opening on 2 March is a new bar-bistro. Armadale Castle has teamed up with Z’s Amazing Kitchens to bring a new dining experience to the historic stables building. Open daily from morning until late, the Armadale Bar and Bistro will serve classic dishes with a modern twist with an emphasis on locally sourced produce. 

The south Skye attraction has also announced a busy programme for all ages and interests. Highlights include a monthly marketplace selling plants, produce and crafts and a Jacobite Day in August with costumed re-enactors. In the museum, a new exhibition on Clan Donald castles by the sea has been specially produced to celebrate Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters. 

Armadale Castle particularly welcomes families and this year has reduced the price of under 16s entrance ticket to signal this commitment. Local residents continue to enjoy special reductions, and annual membership is also available.  Family activities on offer this year include a weekly baby and toddler group, Easter treasure hunt and family fun sessions in half term and holidays. 

On Tuesday 24 March, local businesses are invited for a unique afternoon experience of what Armadale Castle and Z’s Amazing kitchen will offer in 2020. There will be the opportunity to meet the teams, swap leaflets, network with other tourism businesses and take a garden or museum tour. See the Armadale Castle website or social media for more information.

Zsolt Balogh of Z’s Amazing Kitchens commented: ‘We are very excited about the new additions to our portfolio and we are looking forward to opening on Isle of Skye, where both locals and visitors can be assured of a great atmosphere and outstanding service. Z’s Amazing Kitchens is an award-winning, independent, family-owned business with a clear vision: to bring something unique and engaging to the restaurant industry and make a permanent mark on Scotland’s culinary scene. At Armadale Bar and Bistro we will be offering contemporary bistro cuisine, blending traditional flavours with modern cooking methods and exquisite presentation.’

Sue Geale, Museum Manager and member of the Management Committee, commented: ‘We had another great season last year with increased numbers of visitors and much positive feedback. We’re greatly looking forward to opening on 2 March and welcoming both local friends and visitors from around the globe.’

2020 programme at a glance

For more information see www.armadalecastle.com/events. Further events to be announced.

Monday 2 March: Armadale Castle, Gardens & Museum open Mon – Fri, 10am – 3pm; Armadale Bar and Bistro open 10am – late.

Thursdays from 5 March, 10.30am – 12.00: Family activities in the museum. During term time:‘Museum Monkeys’ baby & toddler group with games, stories and songs. During half term and school holidays: Family fun for all ages, with art & craft activities. 

Tuesday 24 March, 2 – 5pm: Open afternoon. All tourism businesses welcome. 

Monday 30 March – end October: Armadale Castle, Gardens & Museum daily 9.30 – 5.30 pm

Saturday 21 March: Junior Clarsach Competition.All welcome to hear young musicians.

April – May: Rhododendron and Bluebell Festival. Garden tours and trails.

Saturday 11 April: Coastal Castles of Clan Donald exhibition opens. Temporary museum exhibition linked to Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters, runs until end November. 

Thursday 2 – Monday 13 April, 10am – 5pm: Easter Treasure Hunt. Family fun in the gardens and museum. 

Saturday 9 May, then 2nd Saturday in the month up to September: Monthly marketplace. Crafts, produce and plants on the lawn outside the Stables.

Friday 12 June, 7pm: Piping competition. Five pipers compete in theannualDonald MacDonald Cuach Piobaireachd Competition. 

Saturday 13 June, 2.30pm: Clarsach competition. Three harp players compete in the annual Princess Margaret of the Isles Senior Clarsach Competition. 

Saturday 15 August Jacobite Day, 11.30 am – 4pm. Watch costumed re-enactors and join in Jacobite themed activities.

September – November. Scottish Tree Festival. Garden tours and trails.

2 – 27 November  Armadale Castle, Gardens & Museum open Mon – Fri, 10am – 3pm

Highland Museum’s Day

Highland Museum’s Day

Highland Museums Collections: Taking Stock and Looking Forward
A day organised for volunteers and staff from Highland museums and archives (accredited / non-accredited, large and small) to exchange information about museums and collections, explore issues of on-line catalogues, volunteer  training, and other issues. Lunch is provided, and travel expenses reimbursed (please carpool if possible). Initially, please only up to four people per museum/archive. If spaces allow we will offer them to others. Free! The day has been funded by ScARF and High Life Highland, with support from ARCH and Museums and Heritage Highland.

Date: Thursday  12th March,

Venue: Alness Heritage Centre (102 High St, Alness IV17 0SG)

Times: 10-4

Bookings to Susan Kruse at  archhighland@googlemail.com. Please provide full contact details and specify any dietary issues.

Please find full information on the event via this link

Historylinks East Sutherland Longhouse Project

Historylinks East Sutherland Longhouse Project

Historylinks Museum in Dornoch is delivering an exciting project looking at the history of the Longhouse and in particular focusing on life in the community of Dalnamain pre-clearances.

Their Project Manager and Curator have worked together to create workshops that will inform the local community about life in Dalnamain before the Clearances took place. They have identified experts who could facilitate workshops and pulled together an exciting project programme. The programme, now in full swing, includes silversmithing, coppicing and willow weaving, cooking, construction and thatching, working with wool, leather craft, music and much more.

The programme of events will culminate on Saturday 28th March when they host Changing Perceptions: Let’s Talk About Dalnamain. Kicking off with a site visit to Dalnamain led by Archaeologist, Anne Coombs, it will be a day to showcase the practical workshops that have taken place, together with talks by Dr Michael Rhodes and their Curator. A scale model of Dalnamain as it looked in the 18th Century, and created by Dave Mahoney and Historylinks’ Young Curators, will be on show at the heart of their Project exhibition in the Museum.

Please read more about this project in this full blog

And find out about the full programme of activities here

Nairn Museum Celebrates Funding Award

Nairn Museum Celebrates Funding Award

Museums Galleries Scotland grant awarded for new Family History Centre at much-loved local museum

Nairn Museum has secured a grant from Museums Galleries Scotland, the Scottish Government’s National Development Body for museums in Scotland, to create a new Family History Centre.

The award will be used to extend and greatly improve access and facilities for local historians, family history researchers, professional genealogists, visiting academics, and amateur sleuths in Nairn and the surrounding areas.

The changes will enable Nairn Museum to accommodate and safely store a substantial recent donation of material collected by local author and historian, the late Alan Barron, former Director at the museum – including much in-depth research on local people and families, and a large number of family trees.

The refurbishment will:

Relocate the Family History Centre from the first floor to the ground floor of Nairn Museum, greatly improving access for visitors and enabling volunteers to assist with enquiries

Increase and greatly enhance storage facilities for the museum’s extensive collections of census records, accounts of births, marriages and deaths, valuation rolls, parish registers, local newspapers, etc.

Improve kitchen and toilet facilities for visitors and volunteers.

Melissa Davies, manager at Nairn Museum, said: “We are thrilled to receive this award from Museums Galleries Scotland, and can’t wait to get started on the work. The refurbishment will be carried out by local contractors, and will radically improve the experience for people visiting the museum to find out more about their relatives and ancestors. It will also provide excellent opportunities to build on the skills and knowledge of our dedicated team of volunteers – without whose support there would be no Nairn Museum”.

Lucy Casot, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland said: “We are delighted to support Nairn Museum with a Museums Development Grant to create an accessible family history resource room. This new space will widen the sharing of the family history collection for the community and visitors through increasing the accessibility of this valuable resource.

Nairn Museum is situated in the historic Viewfield House. It is a fully-accessible, family-friendly museum with a wide range of displays on the town and its local history. There are changing programmes of exhibitions and events, with everything from fine art displays to musical performances, together with special activities for children, families and special-interest groups. The museum is open from April to October each year, but can be visited any time by appointment. Contact Melissa Davies on 01667-456791 (or email: manager@nairnmuseum.co.uk) for further information.

Website: http://www.nairnmuseum.co.uk/

West Highland Museum Review of the Year!

West Highland Museum Review of the Year!

The West Highland Museum in Fort William is in the heart of the Highlands and is particularly known for its Jacobite Collection and Commando exhibition. 

This year’s newsletter focuses on what the museum has been up to in 2019 and is packed full of interesting information about the museum’s activities.

This includes articles about exciting new acquisitions; loans; existing collections; volunteer activities; local history; visitor events and festivals.

Just two of the highlights of 2019 have been, the long term loan of the Drambuie Collection from William Grant and Son Ltd, and the acquisition of a rare secret portrait Jacobite snuff box.

www.westhighlandmuseum.org.uk

Keep up-to-date with their news and events on Facebook

Museum of the Isles, Armadale Castle

Museum of the Isles, Armadale Castle

Discover the history of the Highlands and Islands through the epic story of Clan Donald, Scotland’s largest and most powerful clan. Six galleries take you through 1500 years of history and culture in the area once known as the Kingdom of the Isles.Children can enjoy dressing up, museum trails and activity sessions. There is also a changing exhibitions programme, and an extensive library where staff can assist with genealogy research (visit website for details).  The museum sits within the stunning landscape of Armadale Castle Gardens, the former seat of the Macdonalds of Sleat and now a 5 star visitor attraction.

Armadale Castle, Gardens & Museum of the Isles
Armadale, Sleat, Isle of Skye IV45 8RS
Tel: 01471 844305
Email: museum@armadalecastle.com
Website: www.armadalecastle.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ArmadaleCastleSkye
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/armadalecastleskye/
Twitter https://twitter.com/ArmadaleCastle
Vimeo https://vimeo.com/armadalecastleskye

Interior image of armadale castle museum with children looking at objects

An Iconic Acquisition with a Secret – at West Highland Museum

An Iconic Acquisition with a Secret – at West Highland Museum

Here is a short blog from Vanessa Martin at the West Highland Museum in Fort William on a recent exciting acquisition that is now on display in the museum.

‘We were delighted to have the opportunity to purchase a rare hidden portrait Jacobite snuff box at the Lyon and Turnbull auction in Edinburgh in August.  

It is a mid-18th century circular box with enamel tartan decoration, the hinged cover opens to reveal a plain interior, however, the hidden double lid opens to reveal a finely enamelled portrait of Prince Charles Edward Stuart in tartan jacket with orders of The Garter and Thistle decorations, white cockade and blue bonnet.

Hidden portrait snuff boxes such as this are amongst the most iconic Jacobite works of art. This example is in particularly good condition and finely enamelled.  The portrait is a variant of the famous Robert Strange example which likely date this piece to circa 1750.

The Museum has been established as a “Jacobite Museum” since its inception in 1922.  We have many unique and unusual objects already in our collection such as the Secret Portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie and his death mask. This iconic object will be a valuable addition to our Jacobite collection and is now on permanent display.

We would not have been able to acquire this fine object for the collection without the financial support of the National Fund for Acquisitions, the Art Fund and a very generous local donor.  We are most grateful to everyone who has contributed to make this purchase possible.  The final price for the snuff box at auction was £9,750.’

Bonnie Prince Charlie picture on snuff box

Groam House Museum

Groam House Museum

Groam House Museum is renowned for its display of Pictish carved stones which date from the time when Rosemarkie was a vibrant Christian monastic settlement, around 1200 years ago. It houses the Rosemarkie Stone, an important surviving example of Pictish art in stone, as well as 14 sculpture fragments from the local area.

Pictish stones have inspired many people, including artist George Bain who was fascinated by the intricate Celtic patterns they carried, and went on to work out the mathematics of the intricate designs. Bain’s book “Celtic Art – The Methods of Construction” did much to revive interest in Celtic art and is still used by artists and crafts-people world-wide today.

The museum houses a large collection of George Bain’s work, now recognised as a Collection of National Significance.

The museum also houses a collection of photographs and artefacts from the surrounding area, given by local people.

In addition to its exhibitions, the museum actively engages with local communities to involve them in its activities, share new skills, and develop works of art of relevance to the museum’s collections. Despite the small size of the building, the museum offers much for a wide range of audiences, including activities for children and families, and research material for the student or academic.

Web: www.groamhouse.org.uk
Twitter: @groamhouse
Facebook: groamhouse