A STREET museum project connecting a former County Durham mining village to thousands of years of history in university's museum collections has been launched.

The street exhibition and treasure hunt around Blackhall stems from a partnership first formed between East Durham Creates joined forces and Durham University.

The created a project called Street Gallery, which took place in Dawdon in 2020, encouraging local people to curate their own exhibition and turn the windows of their home into a gallery.

Thanks to support from the Museums Association Digital Innovations and Engagement fund, the university’s culture and museum teams returned to work together with East Durham Creates and Blackhall Community Centre on Street Museum.

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Street Museum is about bringing objects normally seen in museums into people’s homes, businesses and community spaces. It is all about greater access, removing barriers and getting communities to engage deeply with collections and institutions they might not normally.

Since October 2021, the Street Museum project has worked with the communities in Blackhall to shape an outdoor exhibition where 3D printed objects from across history will appear in the windows of homes, shops and community hubs.

Through pop up events, visits to the collections and community curation Blackhall have designed a treasure hunt weaving thousands of years of history into everyday places and spaces with the spirit of their community at its core.

The Northern Echo:

The street exhibition and treasure hunt launched on Tuesday (April 19) will run until Sunday (April 24) with treasure hunt maps available for collection from Blackhall Community Centre.

Participants can explore the village, uncover the story and find all of the objects to collect a prize.

Alison Paterson, Manager of Blackhall Community Centre said: “We are so excited to bring the village to life with culture over the Easter break. It has been a truly amazing project and exceeded our expectations.

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"So many people have learned so much about ancient history, both local and far afield!” Alison added. “We are definitely going for Blackhall getting the Village of Culture title.”

Jess Hunt, Director of East Durham Creates said, “This project has been truly community driven and an opportunity for people in East Durham to connect with the fantastic collections of the University right on their doorsteps and bring something to their communities which is normally only seen in cities, museums and galleries.”

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Liz Waller, Director of Libraries and Collections and Durham University said, “We are really committed to doing more in the wider county with communities who might not always have the opportunity to access or engage with the University – this is just the first of many really innovative projects we intend to run with communities like Blackhall.”

Taking part is free and you can find out more by ringing the Community Centre on 0191 5867396.

For more info and the full map visit http://eastdurhamcreates.co.uk/streetmuseum.

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