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“there’s only one rule when handling objects in the stores … don’t pick a rabbit up by its ears.”

this was the opening line from our curatorial guide in the stores on the fourth floor of the silk mill.  soon it was very apparent what this meant and we were off ! exploring the stores with our fetching nitride gloves being the safety net for the objects.

we learnt about how when fully open the silk mill’s collection of 17,000 objects will all be on display across the four floors of the building.  it’s a huge under taking and i’m starting to grasp from a curator’s perspective how this might be.

the collection is diverse.  from a lump of slag to an absolutely beautiful fully operational (we believe) model of a traction engine.

i found an object that completely lit me up.  i want to see it working and was able to ask the main curator if this might be possible.  his answer was very revealing.  i learnt a lot about curatorial practice and the relationship with an object in the museum.  we’ll find out soon if the object’s record has designated it as one to be used.  from a visual inspection, we found the last pat test date of it.


earlier in the day we’d ventured through the first floor.  here we were being shown the lego robot kit that is part of a collaboration between the museum and the institute of engineering and technology (that’s what i managed to write down, i hope this is correct !).   i learnt about the first lego league.  this spans 96 countries and encourages exploration, experimentation and visual coding with lego in a competitive fun format.  one of our maker team has previous experience and i hope be part of some peer to peer learning with this kit.


the first floor also houses the midland railway company archive and an extensive model railway.  soon this will be packed and and stored in preparation for the renovation and revitalising work scheduled to be carried out on the internal structure.  taking pictures of the railway area felt ery documentative of something set to soon evolve.



in getting ready for our object handling training we again ventured onto the first floor.  along the edges of the walk way were rows and rows of bricks.

i had to ask about them.

the museum has a collection of 461 bricks.  i was thrilled to learn this as it totally ties in with a fledgling idea i have in response to one of the maker briefs.


a couple of other images from the store.


i’m feeling happy.  i’m enjoying the journey into derby and the knot i had been getting in my stomach is no longer with me.  the maker ed, maker corps programme is beginning and later i’ll be part of a global connection via google hangout with other makers.

looking at the grass in the garden, i’ve been reminded of this …