Museums Association Conference: Wish you were here


Edmund Southworth, director, Manx National Heritage
Doug Ford, head of community learning, Jersey Heritage Trust
Jude Dicken, documentation officer, Manx National Heritage
James Moncrieff, chief executive, Shetland Amenity Trust

This session looked at how, in a time of increased globalisation, museums continue to thrive on small islands? Who visits them and why? Speakers from 3 island museum services talked about their museums, sites, heritage and tourism.

Although island museums are quite a small and specific group, it was clear from many of their thoughts that their experiences could relate to many museums whose work with small, remote, community/tourist based audiences. Some of their advice you might find interesting:-

• Go with your strengths – don’t try to be something you’re not.
• Work with your local community. Keep them happy and engaged – they are the life-blood of your museum.
• Collaboration is the key – work with other institutions.
• Joined-up thinking. Work with other museums, wildlife organisations, libraries, archives, schools, heritage sites local to you.
• Share resources with similar cultural, educational bodies.
• Work with other local groups outside the museum sector – musicians, dancers, craft workshops, women’s groups, unions.
• Look outwardly. Take opportunities to visit and work with other institutions. This will give you inspiration and contacts that might be useful in the future.