Enlightenment! Derbyshire Setting the Pace in the 18th Century
‘Enlightenment! Derbyshire Setting the Pace in the 18th Century’, was a partnership between Buxton Museum & Art Gallery, Derby Museums & Art Gallery and Strutt’s North Mill, Belper.
With a grant from the Heritage Lottery fund collecting cultures programme of £200,000 and other funding, these three Accredited Derbyshire museums were able to add artefacts to their collections to help record and understand the Enlightenment in Derbyshire. Topographical art, early geological and natural science publications, watches and scientific instruments, miners’ and map makers’ equipment, items that record the changes to people’s lives in the Derwent Valley, even boxes of threads and items uniquely associated to individual mills were some of the artefacts acquired.
New volunteers were recruited, giving more people the chance to share and learn about this time in our county’s history.
Workshops, activities and summer walks around historic factories took place during the project, as well as three major exhibitions, one in each of the partner sites. These showcased existing Enlightenment collections and new acquisitions, and other smaller exhibitions were held at the museums and in libraries and other venues.
‘Enlightenment! Derbyshire Setting the Pace in the 18th Century’ was supported by Renaissance East Midlands and the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Collections Group. Anna Rhodes was appointed as the Enlightenment! officer coordinating the project.
Collecting Cultures was a one-off museums and galleries collections’ development programme from the Heritage Lottery Fund devised as a direct result of consultation with the sector. Twenty-two museums and galleries across the UK received funding as part of this £3 million collection development initiative which is designed to help support acquisitions, curatorial skills, research and increase public involvement.