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Who cares? project

The ‘Who cares?’ project was set up to consider new ways of working with ‘unloved collections’: stored museum objects which are not regarded as suitable for display due to their technical focus, bulky nature or lack of aesthetic appeal.

The project aims to explore who cares about these collections and how that emotional connection can be used to make them interesting and accessible to new audiences. The project focuses on practical interventions, drawing on the help of a creative writer and a designer/maker to find new, imaginative ways into the stories behind the collections.

The project is a collaboration between two universities and three museums: the Science Museum, Kings College London, University of Reading, the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) and Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust. Each museum volunteered a different collection:

  • The Science Museum’s Locks and Fastenings collection
  • Ironbridge’s National Slag collection
  • The Museum of English Rural Life’s hand tool collection.

The ‘Who Cares?’ Project is supported by the AHRC Care for the Future theme’s Early Career Research funding strand.

Further details about the project can be found at the project blog

Image credit: Commemorative key presented to the Chairman of the Board of the Manchester Guardian Society for the Protection of Trade at the opening of its new offices in 1899. Science Museum Group Collection © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum