York Museums Trust curator Natalie McCaul welcomed Heritage Jam participants to the Yorkshire Museum this morning with a superb introduction to the collections held at the museum, and her hopes for the Jam. Gathered together in the newly opened library, surrounded by wall to wall shelving crammed with antique books and a huge stuffed bear in the corner, Natalie explained:
"I'm really excited to see what you come up with to help visualize our collection. Some of our objects are not in display condition and we're really keento see ways in which they can be made accessible, not only for those coming on a physical visit, but also for users who cannot come to the museum".
Participants quizzed Natalie about specific collections the Museum is interested in Jammers working on:
"Textiles are difficult to display- colours fade so they are great to focus on for thinking of creative ways to visually interpret them. Also lots of the stone carvings you see around the museum - they would have been painted in different colours and is not something we often think about".
More questions followed about the Museum's audiences and how people engage with the collections. Natalie stressed how linking the objects with real people and finding ways for the public to relate to the artefacts on a personal basis was important. Also vital is the ability to appeal to the variety of visitors c who come to the museum.
"We are really interested in layered interpretations so we can engage lots of different visitors with different learning styles".
Armed with expert insights, Heritage Jam participants were let loose in the museum to gather ideas and inspiration for the projects they'll be working on over the next two days here at the University of York.