In 2023, the Museum of North Craven Life received grants of £250,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to transform the understanding of its collections and £100,000 from Arts Council England to increase community engagement.
The funding will enable a series of projects over the next three years, focused on better documenting, understanding and explaining more than 20,000 objects held by the museum. A Collections Manager and Documentation Assistant will work with volunteers on a complete audit of the collections, funded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Dynamic Collections scheme. The museum is aiming to encourage people across North Craven to create a ‘Community Catalogue’ by adding vital information to the records of everything that has been collected to date and helping us to understand why it was important to the donors that these items should be saved for posterity. The museum intends to begin putting its whole catalogue online to improve public access to information about the collections.
The Arts Council England Unlocking Collections award is funding a new post of Community Curator who will work with volunteers to engage local residents and capture information about the collections donated since the museum was founded in 1976. We are particularly keen to gather local knowledge, skills, beliefs and language associated with our collections that might otherwise be lost.