The museum has been awarded funding from the Arts Council England’s Museum Resilience Fund, and will use the grant to develop the way we manage our extensive collection of uniforms; some of them incredibly rare, such as a complete soldier’s uniform worn during the Crimean War.
“Receiving this funding enables us to launch a really exciting project over the next two years, with the collection at its core,” explains Director, Lynda Powell. “We are always looking for ways to grow, and open up our collection to museum visitors as well as individuals with specific interests.
We have more than 2000 uniforms. It is impossible to display them all, but they form an incredibly important part of our archive. This grant will allow us to create an improved uniform storage and display system, as well as paying for specialist training for staff, and the creation of a new Collections Assistant post within the museum team.”
The Arts Council England funding will also allow the museum to create an online catalogue of key pieces from the collection. Uniforms will be specially mounted then photographed through a 360 degree rotation. It means that even if these precious items are not on display in the museum itself, they are still accessible to anyone who wants to find out more about them.
“The quality of our uniform collection is well known within military and specialist circles. There’s less awareness in other sectors – but no reason for that to continue to be the case,” adds Lynda. “Using this funding to improve the way we store, display and work with the uniforms in our care allows us more opportunities to bring them to a much wider audience in the future.”