Connected Communities: All Our Stories at the Science Museum

 

Principal Investigator: Annika Joy, Science Museum
Co-investigators: Tim Boon, Science Museum
Duration: From 2013 to 2014

The All our Stories project enabled the Science Museum Group to gain insights into the needs of community heritage groups and to develop services to assist them in their research. Investigating our collections through the different lens they provide illuminated new perspectives on our practices of collecting, classification and study. The results include not just the particular public outputs of the core heritage groups, but also tools for working with others. The projects also showed the potential to generate understanding and the production of new and alternative knowledge which can help us with creating more inclusive and representative future exhibitions, displays and interpretation.

We learned that providing access to our collections is not straightforward; the best outcomes need the right support, audience and direction. We found that our medical and psychology collections touched our partners deeply, and this evidence will have a lasting legacy on our practice. Above all the research highlighted a desire from the public to be involved in the re-making of history, and to have authority over how the past (especially a past they feel connected to) is collected, presented and communicated.