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.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Given the recent reprieve given to Leicester's Museums, I am beginning to think that it is worth this department thinking about what it could do to help maintain the value and power of these places. It has always seemed a little ironic to me that we have a world-leading Museum Studies School, and museums that have not always been well cared for.
However, these museums are, in many ways, unique and wonderful places. Each of Leicester City Council's Museums have objects, stories, ideas which are truly special. How, then, can we make that special nature manifest? By encouraging people to see beyond the surface, to see perhaps that which is not immediately apparent to the eye.
I've been a little bit inspired by this post from the Dallas Museum of Art, which encourages the visitor to engage with the museum in a multitude of different ways - some of which are quite inventive. Perhaps we need to do something similar with our own museums? Can we, collectively, think of a similar list of experiences to be had in New Walk, Newarke, the Guildhall, Jewry Wall, Abbey Pumping Station, and Belgrave Hall? And by doing so, can we show how valuable these places are, and protect them further for the future?