Since starting my traineeship at the Norfolk Regimental Museum in April, I have been helping prepare for the Armistice: Legacy of the Great War in Norfolk exhibition opening at the Norwich Castle in October. As preparations for the exhibition were well under way, the first thing I had to tackle were all the curator’s lists.
Brainstorming up an exhibition is truly a creative process. Due to the vast collections held in museum stores sprawled all over the county the result is A LOT of lists. Finalizing the object list for the exhibition is a big job. So off to the costume and textiles store I went. Every object has to be measured and recorded on the list in order for the display team to be able to plan how they will present the objects. There is a lot of people involved in putting together an exhibition. Therefore it is crucial for the object list to be as accurate as possible!
Although keeping track of nearly 500 objects is no easy task, we got to remember that every object on the list tells a story and it is up to us how we present that story in the exhibition. One of my favourite stories so far is that of Elfrida Long, born in Norwich in 1910. The family kept a scrapbook for their daughter, which in time turned into an eyewitness record of the experience of the First World War in Norwich. I am currently working on presenting an abridged version of the scrapbook in the form of a flipbook to include in the children’s section of the exhibition. Not only do I get to interpret an amazing primary source illustrating life in Norwich during the First World War, but also I get to work directly with museum volunteers who have already done extensive research on the scrapbook. Volunteers have been crucial in compiling research for the exhibition and it’s great their hard work will be put on display.
I can’t wait to see what the next couple of months of my traineeship will have in store. I love hands-on-history and appreciate having the opportunity to be able to help think of ways to make the object list come alive with stories. You can help tell the story of the First World War in Norfolk by sharing your family memories about loved ones living in Norfolk during and in the aftermath of First World War by emailing email@example.com.