I've just come back from a trip to Oxford, and I'm a little bit heartsick. The reason for this follows...
The shiny, high profile stories of the Ashmolean's reopening, and the newly developed Pitt Rivers Museum, mask the sad truth that the Museum of Oxford is under threat. This is, in my experience, the only museum in Oxford that really tells the story of the city in any great detail. It looks a little shabby, sure. It could do with a lick of paint. But it has the potential to be a great heart for the community. Indeed, it has a beating heart of its own - the volunteer docents are hugely passionate and dedicated.
Its an LEA museum, so unlike the others it does not have a university to underwrite its financial problems. Yes, there are money problems, yes, the museum is not as tidy or as publicized, or as visited as some of its neighbours. But please, don't loose your museum Oxford Council, your museum with the Death Mask of Cromwell, your museum with passion, with a heart - the museum that isn't about the university, but about your city.
I'd like people to write to the Council to support the museum, if they would. I'd be truly sad if this went, and the collection was broken up or sold off.
So go on, just for Oxford the city - a place often masked by the academy with which it shares space.
The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.