Ashby de la Zouch Museum Digital Engagement Projects

Ashby de la Zouch Museum Digital Engagement Projects Blog

An Exciting Week

Yes, it certainly has been an exciting week.

It started on Wednesday when a local retired vet came into the Museum to start off our “Talking Objects” project.  We had a set of very old veterinary instruments which were donated by the late John Tuckey, formerly a well-known Ashby vet himself.  Our guest was able to tell us all about these old instruments and pretty gruesome they turned out to be!  The result was 8 very short films which can be seen on our YouTube channel or via our Facebook page.  I will soon be putting a link from our website to make them easier to find. Visitors to the Museum can also view three of the films by scanning QR codes on the front of the case containing three of the instruments.

Can you guess what the above veterinary instrument was used for?  It wasn’t very nice!

On Thursday, we had a very exciting day learning about Augmented Reality.  Thanks to Caroline and DEN we had Rob from Digital Welly introducing us to the magic of this latest technology.  Imagine being able to look at a painting like the one below by Ford Maddox Brown, hold your smartphone or tablet up to the painting so that it appears on your device and one of the characters in the picture turns round and starts talking to you.  Seems like science fiction?  It can really be done and you can bet, we’ll be doing it VERY soon!

This afternoon I had a lovely time with the Year 5 and 6 children at Blackfordby Primary School.  They have been studying the Victorians and invited me in to help.  The children were able to look at the 1851 Census of Blackfordby and see how many children in their own village went to work and what they did.  Quite a lot worked in the potteries of Woodville and Swadlincote so we looked at the sort of jobs they did and what the conditions were like.  Two were working in the mines so we looked at a short film to see what conditions were like for them.  Both jobs were absolutely horrible so it was hard to say which was worst.  But what if you didn’t have a job and no money or food?  You can guess, the next visit was the Ashby workhouse.  The children dressed up and we role played entering the workhouse and watched  a couple more short films to show what life was like.

What else? Well, our Treasure Chest of memories is out in the main gallery so we are eagerly awaiting the first contributions.  Art in the Museum (see last post) will take place on 16th March.

Next week looks just as exciting with the start of our project for young people between 14 and 19 and a very interesting two day conference at Leicester University School of Museum Studies, and of course our regular DEN meeting.

See you next week!


About this Sponsor

Ashby Museum was established in 1982 in a small cottage in Lower Church Street. In 1991 it relocated to its present home in North Street, where it shares the old National School building with the town Library and Tourist Information Centre. In 2006-7, thanks to a major Heritage Lottery Fund Grant, a two storey extension was added. It is a Registered Charity and is run by a group of trustees supported by over 50 volunteer custodians. It won the Leicestershire Heritage Award for best temporary exhibitions in 1998, 2001 and 2003. In July 2007, the museum won Museum of the Year in Leicestershire. It works closely with the county Museum Service and other independent museums in the area, sharing expertise and artefacts.