Project Press Release

Uncovering Ethnography in Kent and Sussex (Uniques Project)

Collections Review and Community Engagement Project for 2014/15

Bexhill Museum in East Sussex has been awarded an £80,000 grant to run a collections review project with four other partner museums in West and East Sussex and Kent.  This project is being funded by the Arts Council England’s Strategic Support Fund.

Ethnography collections traditionally contain the material culture of other societies. These multifaceted collections are both specific to their source communities, but also relevant to all other cultures and societies, as they signify how people live their lives. These powerful and revealing collections are held in our local museums, and many are still waiting to be fully discovered.

This project will enable the five partner museums to increase access and knowledge of unidentified, underused and under-researched ethnographic collections in the region. The partners will be engaging with university students and academics and local community groups, as well as carrying out collaborative research and skills sharing across these countries. An ethnographic collections support network for the region will be set up, and ethnographic specialists from across the country will be invited to assist with identification and additional research.

Staff who care for ethnographic material and academics across the South East and wider regions will also be invited to participate and share skills, through invitation to two symposiums planned for winter 2014 and spring 2015.

Bexhill Museum will be exploring their African Collection, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery will be investigating their Baltic Costume Collection, Horsham Museum will be looking at their Asian Collection, Maidstone will be exploring their diverse ‘Blackburn’ Collection and the Powell Cotton Museum will be finding out more about their Angolan Collection. Objects will be selected for public displays at each of the sites, as well as web displays and collections resources for visitors to explore at the museum sites.

A freelance project team working with the five partners will carry out the reviews and help the partners to provide public and professional access for new significant finds.

To find out more please contact Rachel Heminway Hurst, Uniques Project Manager





One thought on “Project Press Release

  1. I have started reviewing the collections we are focusing on. The Angolan items at Powell Cotton Museum are outstanding I think, both for their condition and the detail of the data about them, so carefully collected and recorded by the Powell Cotton sisters, Diana and Antoinette. There are so few collections from the south-west of Angola in this country, this must rank as one of the most detailed. More to come. Len Pole


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