The main aim of Something Borrowed is to enable a number of smaller museums in the East of England to borrow objects from the British Museum collection. Through this, Renaissance East and the British Museum is able to aid in the development of staff skills and knowledge within the partner museums.
Developing a successful exhibition raises numerous issues including security, specialist knowledge, display techniques and effective marketing. To aid museums, Renaissance East of England has supplied targeted, focussed support through SHARE, its innovative skills and networking scheme. SHARE draws on the expertise of staff in the larger museum services in the region to develop the sector through free training and advice. The availability of staff from the region’s hub museums, whether from learning, curatorial or display teams, has meant that tailored support can be on hand where needed, complementing the help on offer from the British Museum.
“This has been a challenging and highly rewarding project, offering colleagues from many different departments at the BM the chance to work with regional partners and pass on knowledge and advice that will hopefully see these venues borrowing from national institutions regularly in the future.”
John Orna-Ornstein, Partnerships Manager, British Museum
Visits to Ely Museum in August 2010 increased by 28% compared to August 2009, following the opening of An Egyptian Cat in Ely.
“When times are tough, it makes sense to club together and share resources. Skillsharing is not just a survival tactic though – it can deliver tangible benefits to the institutions and individuals who participate.”
Rebecca Atkinson, Museums Journal
“We’re delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with the British Museum on this exhibition. It’s been fascinating drawing together the different stories around our mummified cat.”
Elie Hughes, Curator, Ely Museum
Beatrix Potter, Cover illustration to 'The tale of the Flopsy Bunnies', 1909. Image courtesy of the British Museum © F.W. & Co., 2011