On Monday 20 June 2016, representatives of community groups interested in working with the Society’s Collections gathered at the Society for the launch of a new guide designed to support partnership working - Working with Society Collections: a guide for community groups.
Over the past ten years the Society has developed expertise in working collaboratively with community groups interested in using the wide range of places, cultures and environments represented in our Collections to explore their cultural heritages.
This expertise has now been distilled into a guide that outlines how the Society can support and contribute to community-led projects as well as highlighting best practice. Working with Society Collections: a guide for community groups aims to encourage more organisations to access and explore the more than two million items that make up the Collections.
One recent community partnership project is Far from the Western Front, which explores the life of Asian soldiers in the First World War and aims to raise awareness of their contribution as well as the many battlefields beyond the Western Front. The Society worked with the Council of Asian People on this Heritage Lottery Funded project and the resulting exhibition is being held in the Society’s Pavilion from 5 to 13 November.
Collaborations such as this not only broaden the range of audiences accessing the Society’s Collections, but they can also offer new interpretations and contexts for items used in the research. And this contribution of knowledge and expertise from community representatives greatly benefits all users of the Collections.