Bournemouth University

School of Conservation Sciences

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BU students master museum skills

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BU students at the St. Barbe Museum BU students at the St. Barbe Museum

Two new exhibitions have opened in Hampshire and Dorset that display the talents of our postgraduate students in Museum Studies.

The Masters students have worked closely with staff and volunteers at both venues to produce exhibitions with local themes. The displays - at the St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery in Lymington and the Priest’s House Museum & Garden in Wimborne Minster – are open to the general public and designed to encourage community engagement.

Professor Mark Brisbane said, "We like our students to gain hands-on, practical experience of work in the museum world, and the opportunities to collaborate with the professionals at St Barbe and Priest’s House are great examples of how Bournemouth students benefit from such excellent partnerships. We are extremely grateful to the museums and their staff for their wholehearted support.”

The exhibition at St Barbe, entitled ‘Buckland Rings: A Place of Value’, marks another year of close collaboration between the museum and BU. The display concentrates on the cultural and archaeological significance of the historic Buckland Rings near Lymington and features museum objects from across the ages – from Neolithic flint tools, an Iron Age chain to a post-medieval horseshoe.

BU student Sophie Baverstock enjoyed working on the project. “It’s a great opportunity to put into practice the theory of museum studies, and contribute something worthwhile to the local community,” she said. “We really wanted to give the profile of Buckland Rings a bit of a boost and get people interested in the site.”

The farming history of East Dorset is the focus of the exhibition devised by students for the Priest’s House Museum in Wimborne Minster. ‘Seeds of Change – Food and Farming’ portrays the hardships and struggles of farmers as well as the development and contribution of farm machinery. The exhibition also traces the impact, role and contribution of women to farming as well as the folklore and traditions associated with farming. To complement the exhibition, folk music from local musicians and oral accounts of farming in East Dorset can be heard as part of the display. A ‘Seeds of Change’ weekend is scheduled for September 12-13 as a family event in which visitors can explore the history of farming and food.

The display, a first for BU students at Priest’s House, is a welcome addition to the museum according to curator Emma Ayling.

“This is an excellent example of the museum reaching out to the wider community through its community engagement programme,” she said. “The Priest’s House Museum Trust is delighted and proud of its association with Bournemouth University. It is a wonderful opportunity for the students to develop their skills and experience.”

BU’s pioneering Master of Arts (MA) in Museum Studies offers contemporary approaches to creative museum practice. Accredited by the Museums Association and the Cultural Heritage National Training Organisation (CHNTO), the course is offered through the University’s Centre for Archaeology, Anthropology and Heritage, based in the School of Conservation Sciences.

Buckland Rings: A Place of Value runs through the summer at the St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery in Lymington, Hampshire. The Gallery is open Monday to Saturday, 10.00am – 4.00pm
Admission to the Gallery and Museum is £4; concessions £3; child £2, family £10.

Seeds of Change – Food and Farming runs through to 31 October 2009 at the Priest’s House Museum in Wimborne Minster, Dorset. The Museum is open Monday to Saturday (including Bank Holidays), 10.00am to 4:30pm. There is an admission charge.

BU students at the St. Barbe Museum

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