The winner of the Collections Trust Award 2017 was revealed on 21 September at the organisation’s Pulling together conference in York. Taking the stage, Collections Trust CEO Kevin Gosling proclaimed the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu as the winner of the £2,000 prize for its innovative project, Keep CALM and STEAM Ahead, while handing out commendations to Beamish Museum and Grant Museum.
Andrea Bishop, Director of Collections for the National Motor Museum, welcomed the award: “The team, including our dedicated volunteers, are well-deserving of this award and I thank the Collections Trust for recognising and celebrating that. The Keep CALM project has been aptly named, since it has challenged us to change the way we work and manage collections behind the scenes, standardising practice to improve the exchange of ideas and information. We are now beginning to see the benefits of that legacy for our audiences and I am grateful to Arts Council England for having confidence in the value of this project for the museum and its users.”
The prize will go toward collection management activity to support the work of the museum trust in preserving Britain’s motoring heritage.
The first project commended at the awards was Beamish Museum’s Remaking Beamish, an ambitious multi-strand project creating new ways for people to experience and learn about the heritage of the North East of England. Speaking for the judges, Jennifer Jones said they were impressed by how the project embedded collections management throughout its scope, as over 40 volunteers, engagement and reception staff were placed with members of the Collections Team, working on the preparation of the 25 new exhibits for the scheme. Accepting the commendation, collections officer Dan Hudachek thanked the museum’s staff and volunteers for their contributions.
The second commendation went to UCL Grant Museum of Zoology for its Whale Weekender, which saw hundreds of volunteers pressed into service to rebuild a 157-year-old bottle nosed whale skeleton. Jones praised the collaborative element of the event, which involved a team of conservators, curators and whale experts, as well as 800 members of the public piecing together and cleaning the skeleton.
Congratulations to all and thanks to everyone who submitted.