A display case of numerous old light bulbs with four circled and highlighted in red.

Opening a Museum

How many people does it take to set up a museum? Conventional histories of museum founders usually concentrate on individuals – the collector whose artefacts provide the basis for a new institution, and heroic directors or curators who single-handedly drive forward their vision of a museum. In our experience, establishing a museum is a collaborative […]

Illustration of a man sitting in an attic room at a desk. The desk is piled high with books and he is reading one of them. A window is open behind him.

A week in the life

What does the Mapping Museums research assistant do all day? I sometimes wonder where all the time goes. Although the vast majority of the four thousand-odd museums listed in the database were added before I really began work on the project, I’ve added well over a hundred new museums and made corrections to the entries […]

Laidhay Croft Museum, a single storey white building with a thatched roof, seen through a light mist.

Being there

I admit it. I did think that it was a bit of a luxury to go and visit all the museums that are being featured in our Mapping Museums book. After all, Toby, one of the researchers on the project had already spent most of a year visiting, taking photographs of the exhibits and conducting […]

The Micro Museum, Ramsgate

The Micro Museum encompasses vintage computers, video gaming and micro-electronics, such as mobile phones, small electronic games and toys. An array of working micro-computers and games consoles are available for visitors to try out, playing games and programming for as long as they wish. The museum also includes displays on the history of computing. The […]

Gloucester Folk Museum

The Folk Museum, now known as the Gloucester Life Museum, is housed in Tudor timber-framed buildings. One of them is traditionally associated with the last night of John Hooper, Bishop of Gloucester and Worcester, who was burned for heresy by Queen Mary in 1555. The museum tells the social history of Gloucestershire and includes a […]

Datchworth Museum

This museum occupies an old blacksmith’s forge which had been unused since 1953. The collection was begun by Doreen Hodson-Smith, a local resident, but it had outgrown her home. The forge was seen as a suitable venue for a museum to house the collection, and after refurbishment it opened in 1991. The old forge and […]

Basket Museum

The Basket Museum is part of Coates, a willow business based on the Somerset Levels. Willow for basket making has been grown on the levels for centuries. The museum displays a variety of willow items including bushel baskets, tricycles and traps.   Images via the museum.

guernsey tomato museum postcard

Guernsey Tomato Museum

Little is known about the Tomato Museum, which is said to have closed in 1989. Hudson and Nicholls’ Directory, an invaluable resource for museum researchers, describes it in 1985: History of tomato-growing on the island, in [a] group of glasshouses built at various dates between the 1890s and 1970s. Crops illustrating the history of the […]

Framework Knitters Museum

Framework Knitters Museum

The Framework Knitters Museum is in Wigston, near Leicester. The last master hosier to work on the site, Edgar Carter, died in 1952 leaving the workshop locked and intact. As the museum’s website explains, the workshop “contained eight hand frames for making gloves, mitts and fancy ribbed tops for golf hose, together with all the needle moulds […]