Object of the Week : M is for Museum

Tuesday 30 March 2021

Whilst the Museum is closed and our collections unable to be seen by visitors, we have created a weekly virtual museum with an Object of the Week feature from our collections.

Object of the Week  M is for Museum

In 1999, a group of volunteers began archiving photographs and documents relating to the history of Elstree and Borehamwood, because there was no dedicated museum for the area.  This group, calling themselves the Community History Project, was given premises alongside the local newspaper in Drayton Road, which comprised of one room, an office and a kitchen area.  As local people became more aware of the group, more objects and artefacts began to be donated to the Community History Project.  Hertsmere Borough Council supported the Project in 2000 with a small grant and provision of a Museums Officer to give advice and guidance to the volunteers.

The Original Museum - outside and inside

The Editor of the newspaper would provide his neighbours with photographs which contributed to the now large image archive held by the Museum.  The volunteers began producing themed displays of local historical topics and the programme also included talks to local groups and schools and the provision of a valuable enquiry service to the local community. The Museum opened Thursday – Saturday 11am – 3pm and admission was free. 

When plans to create a new multi-use community facility on the site of the Village Hall were announced in 2011, the Museum was allocated a dedicated space on the second floor.  With funding from the Heritage Lottery and Hertsmere Borough Council, the Museum as we know it today, was opened in November 2013. More volunteers were recruited and the Museum embarked on a wider programme of talks, walks and a monthly reminiscence group meeting.  A dedicated team was set up to catalogue every item in the collection and this work is ongoing, only halted in the past year because of the pandemic.

The Museum holds around 6,000  objects and over 7,000 photographs. These objects range from items from the area’s film and television heritage, social and industrial history, archaeology, photographic collections, paper ephemera, costume and textiles, clocks and scientific instruments, maps and plans, fine art and ceramic collections.

In addition to actual collections, the Museum holds a large resource of reference material such as scrapbooks, news cuttings and other information relating to objects within the collection and people and places associated with those objects.

Come and visit when we are allowed to re-open.  Announcements will be made on social media and our website.

The Museum today - The desk and displays

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