The Wee Museum of Newhaven

Victoria Primary School have created this great film to advertise the Wee Museum of Newhaven. The Wee Museum is a community museum inside Victoria Primary School created with assistance from the Haven older people’s group. It is open to the public by appointment. Do come and have a look, you can still get in to visit over the summer holidays. You can contact the school on 0131 476 7306.

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For those who haven’t already heard about the Wee Museum: The Museum has been curated by pupils at Victoria Primary School.

The project initially started in 2010.To research the displays, the children visited the Haven Centre (a local older people’s group) and talked to some of the participants about their experiences in Newhaven in the past. A local resident also visited the school to share his memories. The children also learned more about the history of Newhaven by borrowing loan boxes of objects from the museums which enabled them to see and touch historical artefacts in the classroom.

A small group of children visited the museum stores, met museum staff and learnt about the work museums do behind the scenes. They helped to select objects for the exhibition. They also photographed and kept a record of their visit so they could report back to the school. The photographs were displayed on the Museums Flickr page.

This research was then used to create the ‘Wee Museum of Newhaven’ a permanent exhibition space in the school. The children named the museum, created a sign, decided on objects to be displayed and developed posters and other material for the museum.

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Members of the local community also assisted by donating objects to supplement those on loan from the museums service. The first exhibition ‘Fishwives and School Lives’ opened on 26 January 2011. After the opening, the children continued to be involved in the project by giving tours for visitors.

In winter 2011, a new class assisted with the updating of displays. They explored boat building in the local area with the involvement of a local community group, the Newhaven Coastal Rowers. They also visited the museum stores and took part in a drama session exploring their topic. Then the displays at the Wee Museum were updated to include a section about boat building.

This summer another group took part in sessions, visited the Museum Collections Centre and took part in activities in the school. They developed a new display: ‘Teddies Trains and Tops’ which is currently on display at the school alongside the permanent displays on fishing, maritime heritage and schools.

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The Wee Museum is a permanent display space and we hope to return to the project with a different class each year to update the displays. I will keep you updated when the displays change. But if you haven’t made it yet, why not give the school a call and drop by?

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About edinburghmuseumsoutreach

I'm the Outreach & Access Manager at Edinburgh Museums & Galleries (the museums service of the City of Edinburgh Council). I take the museums out to community groups and schools. I really enjoy meeting lots of people of different ages and backgrounds and helping them connect with our collections. I love showing people some of the amazing objects that we hold and I like helping them to remember the past or to create something amazing.
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2 Responses to The Wee Museum of Newhaven

  1. Debbie McAdam says:

    Wow! this is an amazing project what a fantastic idea. I am currently attempting to get a position in outreach somewhere but I would be very interested in hearing about this project.

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