Print This Page (simplified layout)

Museum to Close for Building Work

Spring, 1998

THE Museum’s success in applying for a major award from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the granting of the necessary consents for an extensive programme of building work and refurbishment will result in many good things, most notably the new special exhibitions gallery, library, education room, store, studio, and office spaces.

One of the prices to pay for these new facilities however is the disruption of much of the work of the Museum and the almost complete suspension of its public services. It has been decided to accept students on the Museum’s M. Sc. course as usual, but otherwise the staff will be preoccupied with the development work and the building will therefore necessarily have to be closed for some time, with the collection packed away.

The basement gallery of the Museum closed to the public at the end of March and the packing of the objects that were displayed there is now as good as complete. As part of the packing process, the Museum staff, augmented by temporary help, have taken the opportunity to improve the documentation of the collection, in the computerized inventory. During two weeks in April, nearly 2,000 photographs were taken, which have now been digitized and will in the near future be mounted on the Museum’s website, so anyone with access to the Internet will see some benefit from the deprivation caused by the development work very soon.

After the end of June the Museum will close completely to the public for approximately twelve months, as the real building work gets underway. So far only a series of exploratory diggings and drillings has taken place, but there is more major disruption ahead, not least the excavation of the whole of the pavement area at the front of the building.

It is too early to set a date for the reopening at this point, but it is hoped that by summer 1999 the improved facilities and displays will be in place and the Museum will again be in a position to receive the public