Winner of Collections Trust Award 2019 announced

Oxford’s History of Science Museum and Pitt Rivers Museum have jointly won the 2019 Collections Trust Award for Multaka-Oxford, a project that creates volunteer opportunities in the museums for forced migrants who have recently arrived in the UK. Multaka, which means meeting point in Arabic, uses the collections as a meeting point to bring people together and bring different perspectives to the presentation and interpretation of the collections.

Presenting the award, Amisha Karia, Collections Trust board member and Head of Collection, Loans and Programming for Paintings in Hospitals, said, “The Collections Trust Award recognises the often-unsung achievements of those who manage collections. This year we were looking for strong examples of ‘use-led’ projects with clearly identifiable outcomes and high levels of community participation, projects which exemplified the issues discussed in the Museum Association’s Empowering Collections report – and we certainly found that in Multaka.”

Rana Ibrahim, Collections Project Officer at the History of Science Museum, who accepted the award at the Collections Trust conference in Leicester on 12 September, said, “Multaka-Oxford creates an open space, and working with our collections helps people find their identity, their heritage, their faith and their place in the community. This award is a great endorsement of the work of the museums’ teams and volunteers, and we’re absolutely delighted with it.”

The Classic Boat Museum in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, Petersfield Museum in Petersfield, Hampshire, Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, and Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums were all highly commended for their entries.

This year’s Collections Trust Award attracted more entries than ever before. Submissions were judged by a panel from the Collections Trust’s board and the winners were announced on Thursday 12 September at the 2019 Collections Trust Conference in Leicester. As well as physical awards, the museums received £1,000 to spend on an agreed collections management activity.

Multaka Event at Oxford’s Museum of History of Science (image by Ian Wallman).