Many of our museums are still working hard behind the scenes to ensure their audiences can get their heritage fix and connect with each other. We are going to do a wee series shining a spotlight on what’s happening. This first blog shines the spotlight on the Museum of the Isles at Armadale Castle, Skye, West Highland Museum in Fort William and Groam House Museum, Black Isle .
The Museum of the Isles at Armadale Castle, Isle of Skye, is keeping audiences engaged online. With education staff unable to deliver the weekly family sessions, they’re posting family activities to do at home on the website instead: https://www.armadalecastle.com/family-activities-to-do-at-home/. They are also sharing lots of content on social media, with a popular ‘object of the week’ post featuring artefacts from the galleries and museum stores. Traditional music is an important part of Armadale Castle’s activity, so they are also regularly sharing highlights from the castle’s piping and clarsach competitions held on Facebook. [eg https://www.facebook.com/ArmadaleCastleSkye/videos/2501800346710409/]. And with the museum being situated in a stunning garden location, there’s regular garden tips too [https://www.armadalecastle.com/seasonal-garden-tips/]
And if you’re intrigued about what a curator gets up to in lockdown, have a look at this #MuseumFromHome video! https://www.facebook.com/ArmadaleCastleSkye/videos/1143750272645277/
Follow them here –
While the West Highland Museum in Fort William is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic they are focusing on improving their online content to engage with their existing social media followers, support local communities, and develop new global online audiences.
They already have a popular Facebook page with almost 2.8k followers where they regularly share content about collections, local history and links to interesting stories. They have re-launched thei Twitter account and will be posting to this regularly. They have also started Pinterest and Instagram pages to share their collection with the world.
Since the Museum has been closed they have launched a blog, featuring a good variety of guest bloggers who showcase their collections and local history. They have recently launched a podcast and the first series focuses on local communities in the Fort William area and they will be working with Edinburgh University Museums to develop an online learning project about Scottish folklore for children.
In the longer term they are in the process of developing a new website and are looking to start video output with the launch of a YouTube channel.
Groam House Museum have launched Black Isle Scarecrows! The idea is simply to make a scarecrow, display it for your neighbours and passers-by to see, then, if you would like to, take a photo and post it to their new Facebook group ‘Black Isle Scarecrows’ https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlackIsleScarecrows/
A traditional scarecrow is made with threadbare overalls and stuffed with straw or anything else you can find – maybe old newspapers or plastic bags. The secret to making the best possible scarecrow is being creative to recycle, reuse and repurpose old clothes and other props you already have. During lockdown we all have time to have a good rummage around the house, shed or garage where I’m sure you will find all you need to inspire you!
They are also continuing work on looking at how to present the work of George Bain online and are inviting feedback from all on this. Find out more here http://www.groamhouse.org.uk/index.asp?pageid=709546&fbclid=IwAR3WV5LgMWgrK3Np3og51kpY6aeyYzP7FVL2EDkMxbpzxtL1mHVGZWVEc_g