Sudbury Hall NT

Sudbury Hall NT

Socially Networked Preservation?!

So, Sudbury Hall and The National Trust of Childhood has finally dipped it’s toe into the world of Web 2.0….and maybe we’ve started to paddle a little bit too….

Thanks to a grant from Renaissance East Midlands and their regional digital programme called MuBu (Museum Buddies), we are now working on a project to help connect our museum with (new) audiences. MuBu is helping us to generate these audiences through social networking online by offering us support through grant funding, advice and training and networking opportunities. Our project has already grown and developed from our original intentions of giving people an insight into the conservation work we do – particularly when Sudbury Hall is closed to the public. The original idea stemmed from a successful conservation based event that we already run at the property called ‘Pests, Polish and Pony Hair’.

We decided that we would like to build on this and use social networking to help improve and deliver education in conservation and to showcase our work to new communities. The collections care work we undertake here is to be communicated to a variety of audiences through video streaming and creating discussions.

Our project aims include:

1. Improve our offer for different audiences and connect with new communities.

2. Increase development opportunities for staff in both conservation and digital media.

3. Provide diverse volunteering opportunities.

4. Provide greater access for the public to the work of the Trust.

5. Help to show why income is important to our property.

6. Build on an already successful event in a new and innovative way.

7. Pilot a new method of ‘socially networked preservation’ for the Trust.

 8. Showcase the work that Sudbury and the NT has, in the past, done behind closed doors.

9. Use the outcomes of this project to help develop interpretation throughout the hall and the museum.

We are also very keen to also provide more access to our museum collections through this project. We are working on devising trails and have already started putting photos of recent acquisitions (such as this one eyed cat) on Facebook etc. Collections Assistants, Sue and Helen, and a small team of volunteers, have been working very hard to get this side of the project rolling.

We are working closely with a film-maker and a community development co-ordinator to help us deliver this project. After a day of filming last month, we are now at the editing stage with a number of short films where staff and volunteers are introducing themselves and talking about their different roles at Sudbury. These should hopefully be on YouTube very shortly, so watch this space!

And this is our very own one-eyed cat, Albie, who lives on the property. Maybe he can become a film star in his own right as the project progresses!


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