Welcome to the first post from the brand new Connecting with Collections blog!

My name is Sally Thelwell and I run the Collections Study Centre on the 3rd floor of the Manchester Museum, working closely with Gillian Smithson, the Museum’s Registrar. We are part of the Collections Care and Access team and pride ourselves in making the collection accessible.

What I love about working in the Collections Study Centrevery day is that every day is different.
Sometimes I am welcoming academics from around the world, setting up seminar sessions for university students or working with the regular volunteers who frequent the centre.

Students in the Collections Study Centre

Students in the Collections Study Centre

We run events such as Collection Bites, a monthly talk series which aims to showcase objects in an intimate environment, Rock Drop, our ever popular monthly drop in geology identification sessions and a huge variety of collection based events in between.

Our newest project is called Selection Box, a changing display series that celebrates study of the collection. The current display is called Trading Well-being: The Materiality of Medicine and Religion at a Healers’ Market, Accra, Ghana and is the outcome of a PhD thesis by archaeology student Bryn Trevelyan James.

Identification is also a key thing we do and there is always an assortment of weird and wonderful objects in my cupboard waiting to be identified by one of our knowledgeable curators.
More often than not things don’t turn out to be what people were hoping them to be, but you never can tell.

Only a couple of months ago a simple stone turned out to be a dinosaur bone!

Anyway that’s enough from me for now!

I will keep you up-to-date with all the latest events and news by posting videos and photos on a regular basis.

If you would like to respond or have something to say it would be great to hear from you.


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