Curators in training
Workshop 2 at Bodmin Keep began with a short briefing from the Learning Manager Leah Mason, followed by the chance to explore the museum on our own.
The museum is closed to the public on Mondays, so it can concentrate on educational programmes. However, the chair of trustees, Major Charles Edward-Collins, was hard at work in one of the exhibition rooms. We found him polishing medals taken from a glass cabinet. The medals gleamed after their bi-annual polish and looked extremely impressive.
The trainee curators were tasked with selecting three items of most interest to them.
The bugle seemed to be very important.
There was time for dressing up too.
Besides learning curator roles, communication skills were utilised as the young people shared their choices verbally with the whole group and then expressed themselves in writing.
Eating and drinking stopped and gloves became a must before handling the artefacts.
Fran carefully revealed awesome archive items, unwrapping them from acid free tissue paper.
The young curators in training were shown how to handle the collection. The correct way is to hold the item from the bottom, with two hands, or hold the most fragile parts, while wearing gloves.
Each item is numbered and catalogued. When a new object is given to the museum, it too is handled with great care, numbered and catalogued.
The first item is a khaki cap, the type worn in WW1. The silver bugle on the badge was spotted. A bugle the DCLI's logo.
Guesses of candle, food and jar were good suggestions for item two, a 'Tommy’s Cooker', used for heating food while living in the trenches.
Item three, a dry biscuit in a plastic box, is over 100 years old!
A bandage, tied with a bow, is item four. It’s called a 'Shell Dressing' and each soldier in WW2 carried it in their kit bag.
Sterilising tablets and binoculars are items 5 and 6.
Young curators place an object in the correct position in a large light box, for taking a photo with a professional camera, through a hole in the top.
Photos were taken outside too.
The photos and writing from workshop 2 will be added to the Keep’s TikTok collection in next week’s session.