Community Curators logo

A community project at the Highlanders’ Museum

 

Are you passionate about decolonising museums? 

Do you want to attend free talks, lectures, and museum skills sessions?

Do you want to make sure your local museum represents your community?

Become a Community Curator at The Highlanders’ Museum and make sure your voice is heard!

About Community Curators

We want to make sure that our local community are represented in their local museum. This means listening to our community and understanding how they would like us to talk about the past, what they’d like us to include, and what exhibitions & events they’d like to see.

Community Curators is a way of allowing volunteers to do just that – with a series of programmes and projects throughout the year, Community Curators will assist with writing exhibition interpretation, creating object labels, uncovering objects within the museum stores, collaborating on historical narratives, and more!

A key element of the Community Curators project will be to confront themes of empire and colonialism in our collection. We will be considering how decolonisation can be expressed within the setting of a military museum. We are particularly keen to hear from people who feel strongly about the display of colonial collections.

Community Curators Code

To carry out your volunteering role to the best of your ability

To meet agreed time commitments and let us know in good time if you are no longer able to make it

To treat other volunteers, staff, and members of the public with respect

To follow the Museum’s procedures and standards, including health & safety and equality & diversity

To maintain confidential information about the Museum and its collection

To agree to the Museum storing any personal details needed for you to undertake your volunteering activities in a secure database, in accordance with the Data Protection Act and GDPR guidelines

To allow the Museum to publish photos or videos taken of you while volunteering on our website, social media, newsletter, and for publicity or marketing purposes. If you would prefer not to agree to this, please email scotgrad@thehighlandersmuseum to let us know

To acknowledge that any intellectual property rights in the work that you carry out as a volunteer will be deemed to belong to the Museum

To not use any materials you’ve created as a result of volunteering at the Museum (for example photographs, research, etc.) outside the Museum without prior agreement from a member of staff

Who can be a Community Curator?

We are looking for members of the local community from the areas around Ardersier, Nairn, and Inverness to join The Highlanders’ Museum as Community Curators. However, if you are based further afield and passionate about joining, we would love to hear from you!

Joining is FREE and we encourage everyone to get involved. The project will be operated on a first-come-first-serve basis, however once we reach capacity we will be adding participants to a waiting list.

We particularly welcome participants from disabled, disadvantaged, and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates, or any other groups that are underrepresented in the museum sector.

Participants must be over the age of 18, and must agree to the Community Curators Code (see above).

Why sign up?

Being part of this project will give you the chance to contribute to the museum’s displays, narratives, and exhibitions, with the opportunity to ask the tough questions! You will learn about the history of our collection and the regiments we represent, helping us to explore different topics and viewpoints that represent everyone.

You will have the opportunity to learn new skills, meet like-minded local people, work on exhibitions and museum displays, gain the confidence to challenge traditional narratives, and have fun!

Upcoming Projects

Get involved with our latest Community Curators projects:

Re-thinking the Indian Rebellion

March – April 2022

About

Be a part of our first ever Community Curators Project!

The 72nd Regiment Duke of Albany’s Own Highlanders, the 78th (Highlanders) Regiment of Foot, and the 79th (The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders) Regiment of Foot were all involved in the Indian Rebellion of 1857-58, making the conflict one of the most important events represented by the museum collection.

Traditionally, our labels for objects related to the Rebellion focus on regimental successes. We are looking for Community Curators to research, re-think, and re-produce labels for the permanent display that offer a different perspective, placing colonial experience at the centre of the narrative.

6:30pm every Wednesday evening starting 2nd March 2022.

Participation available in person and via live stream.

Session Timetable

02/03/2022 – Collection Tour

This welcome session will introduce the project and will include an after-hours tour of the museum, with special focus on the displays that will be re-interpreted. 60 mins.

 

09/03/2022 – Understanding the Indian Rebellion

An informative talk from Dr Jim MacPherson, Senior Lecturer in History at UHI, looking at the events of the Indian Rebellion, legacies and representations of the conflict, and his work dealing with similar themes at the Clan MacPherson Museum. 60 mins.

 

16/03/2022 – Exhibiting Colonial Legacies

Dr Nicole Hartwell is a research fellow at Selwyn College, Cambridge and has particular interest in material culture associated with colonial military campaigns fought by British and imperial forces in Africa and India in the late 18th and 19th centuries. She will discuss her experiences of undertaking provenance research on artefacts related to the Indian Uprising of 1857-8, with reference to relevant collections in The Highlanders’ Museum, as well as her co-curation of the Legacies of Empire exhibition currently held at the National War Museum, Edinburgh Castle.

 

23/03/2022 – Label Writing Masterclass with Chris

Join Chris Berriman, PhD candidate at the University of Hull, for an interactive label writing masterclass, covering context, terminology, appropriation, and relevant case studies from the Highlanders’ Museum and further afield.

 

30/03/2022 – Collaboration Session & A Talk from Heartstone

In this session, you will select which object labels you will be re-writing and carry out any necessary research, getting the labels ready to be sent to print. We will also be hearing from Sitakumari, Director of Dingwall-based storytelling organisation Heartstone about their important work telling the story of British-Indian colonial history to children.

 

15/04/2022 – Launch event

18:00 – We invite Community Curators and the public to Join us in the Museum or via Facebook Live for an official opening event of the new interpretation! This final session will feature a short talk about the project, an unveiling of the new labels, and reading out a selection of the Community Curators’ work! Approximately 30 minutes, 18:00 – 18:30. 

 

The 2nd Boer War – a collaborative exhibition

October – November 2022

More information coming soon!