These digistories are two of 36 created during a Cabinets of Curiosities project based at Tolson museum and funded by the Renaissance Partnership. Five diverse community groups were recruited to fill purpose-built cabinets with objects that reflected the individual collecting habits and spirit of the group as a whole. Objects ranged from newborns’ hospital identity bands, to rocks which are a billion years old, give or take a day. Every item in the cabinets is precious to its owner.
The exhibition consisted of six cabinets in all, including one filled with objects from the museum’s founding collections; a gallery of over 250 objects from the collections used to spark ideas and clarify thoughts during the preparatory sessions as each group familiarised themselves with the concept of the cabinets and thought about collecting, recording and conserving significant objects. The common themes of these sessions were: a dawning recognition that we all have collections, even though family photographs or earrings are not normally considered a collection; that the process of creating a cabinet of such personal objects was a way of deepening familiarity and friendships within the group.
The participants were interviewed as part of the process of selecting objects for the cabinets. Consequently, people visiting the exhibition in Tolson Museum from June to October 2009 could hear participants explaining why everyday objects have such potency, and how unfamiliar objects give us insight into lives beyond our own experience.
See Related Links below for other Cabinets of Curiosity digi stories on My Yorkshire.