Reminiscence boxes in Norwich

October 5, 2010


Norwich Castle


Reminiscence boxes are not a new idea, but the Norfolk Museum and Archaeology service lend theirs out through the public library.  

I spent a lovely afternoon yesterday at the Norwich Castle Museum and Gallery. I had a quick look around the exhibitions and then spent a couple of hours talking to Ruth Burwood, Senior Access Curator. Ruth told me about a number of projects they have worked on, all responding to the needs of particular groups within the community.

In an effort to provide support for carers of people with dementia, the museum established a number of themed memory boxes. The boxes include objects for handling, as well as photographs and some audio recordings or a DVD – all of which relate to the same theme. She explained to me that since the Museum lacked any facility for lending these out to community members on an ongoing basis, a partnership with the local library was the solution. Apparently they have been very successful. Not all of the objects have come from the collections – some have been sourced from second-hand shops to ensure that there are appropriate objects for handling.

Ruth explained that these types of projects are devised in response to the priorities of local government, who provide about a third of the museum’s funding.


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