An overview of the three year Mobile Museum research project is now live. The project, which is a collaboration between Royal Holloway and Kew Gardens explored the movement of objects in and out of Economic Botany Collection at Kew museum since its creation over 150 years ago.
Funded by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, both Royal Holloway and Kew have been investigating how and why plant-based objects from Kew were sent to 400 museums worldwide and 700 schools across the UK during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
With a substantial grant funding gained from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the project formally began in January 2017.
The new web hub offers details of publications linked to the project including a teacher’s handbook for curating a school museum and papers investigating the history surrounding the circulation of these botanical specimens and artefacts. More publications will be published as the project continues.
Visitors to the new web pages will able to read blogs from the research team and access the research datasets and digitised archive files which were created as part of the Mobile Museum research project.
The project has used archives at Kew and elsewhere to map the circulations of specimens and objects in and out of the Economic Botany Collection at Kew (nationally and internationally), creating a unique research resource. It has also produced the first historical study of Kew’s role in supporting and promoting the use of plant specimens and artefacts in school education.
Designed to have a significant impact beyond the research, the project aims to enrich the understanding of biocultural collections amongst a wide range of actual and potential users, enabling heritage professionals, collection managers and museum curators to develop new ways of engaging with their collections.
Additionally, the research team is promoting new approaches to the educational use of museum collections through pilot museum projects in schools and accompanying learning resources.
Visit royalholloway.ac.uk/mobilemuseum to find out more.