Over the next three years, thanks to part-funding by the Orkney LEADER Programme 2014-2020 and the John Ellerman Foundation, Orkney Natural History Society Museum (ONHSM), which runs Stromness Museum, will be able to employ a Museum Collections Development Team.
"Everyone involved in the running of the museum is absolutely delighted. The Collections Development Team will provide dedicated time to research the collection and enable the board to expand initiatives to increase visitor numbers and work towards a more financially secure future while dealing with the challenges of funding cuts and curatorial under-provision.''
Kathleen Ireland, Chair ONHSM
Since 2010, when the local Authority withdrew its one-day a week curatorial support due to funding cuts, members of ONHSM have undertaken this work on a voluntary basis. In the longer term the Team will make it possible to care for and curate the Museum’s collections appropriately. Visitor experiences will be improved as the stories of the collection are researched and shared with the public through events and changing exhibitions. The development of an on line comprehensive catalogue and greatly improved website will bring recognition of the depth and scale of the Museum's collections as they will be accessible to all despite their geographical location.
Achieving the match funding from the John Ellerman Foundation was a considerable coup for the Stromness Museum funding team, which faced stiff competition from museums and galleries around the UK. The grant awarded to Stromness Museum through the Foundation’s Regional Museums and Galleries Fund was one of seven grants made in this year’s funding round.
“The aim of the Fund is to strengthen regional museums and galleries by helping them to enhance and sustain curatorial development, and thereby to become more sustainable and to attract a broader public. We are delighted to support the Stromness Museum at a pivotal moment in its development. The rich and varied collection strands taken together tell a comprehensive story of life on the islands – the seas, the land, and its people – and the links with the wider world. Our Trustees were particularly struck by the outstanding commitment by the volunteers whose love and care for the collections is palpable.”
Dorothée Irving, Head of Grants, John Ellerman Foundation
Contact Kathleen Ireland, Chair ONHSM