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public history

Something a bit different from Stories from the Stores today – we’re hosting the History Carnival, and bringing you a roundup of last month’s blogs on history (and a few other links we just found interesting). Don’t worry – in true STFS style, we’re still illustrating it with objects and images from the Science Museum’s collections! Slaughter, Shakespeare and squibs November’s remembered for gunpowder treason and plot, for which Guy Fawkes suffered a traitor’s execution: hung, drawn and quartered. As Kathleen McIlvenna points […]

This post was written by Tara Knights, a work placement student with the Research & Public History department  from Sussex University’s MA Art History and Museum Curating. These days most of us have a camera the size of our mobile phone. We can effortlessly take pictures of anything and everything, but what role did photography play in the lives of our ancestors?  In this second of a series of blog posts, we will continue to explore the lives of our […]

By a guest author

Patchwerk

A Guest blog post from Robert Sommerlad, a musician and volunteer Science Museum research assistant.

What was the popular culture of science like in Britain, in the fifties and sixties? The Science Museum has received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to start exploring this question. The 1950s and 1960s were years of technological expansion. In 1957, the space race started, with the USSR’s successful launch of Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth. In 1969, the USA put humans on the Moon. In 1954 the European organisation for nuclear research, […]

Like most curators, I’m always on the look-out for interesting stories and things that capture public interest. So it won’t be much of a surprise to find I’ve been watching and reading Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth. Call the Midwife chronicles the work of the author as a midwife in the East End of London in the 1950s. As you would expect we have a large collection of objects relating to midwifery and obstetrics. The piece of kit that caught […]

Later this year the Science Museum’s opening a temporary exhibition that will explore the relevance of our collections to family historians. We’re looking for people who could help us to develop it. One part of the exhibition will focus on a number of different trades and professions. A theme that we are already looking at in an ongoing series of articles for Family Tree magazine. Do you have an ancestor story to tell that relates to one of the areas to be […]

Behind every Museum object there can be dozens of stories about the people who made and used it, or are otherwise linked to it. In an upcoming exhibition about the relevance of our collections to family historians we’re going to use one object to illustrate that fact – and we’re hoping that you might be able to help us out. We’re going to take this doctor’s bag and unpack some of the personal histories that are connected to it. It […]

One way or another we are a nation obsessed with history – be it through the books we read, the TV we watch, our hobbies or the historic houses we visit.  Here at the Science Museum, we’re actively pursuing closer engagements with people who ‘do history for fun’.  One area of this public history that I’m especially interested in is family history.  The internet has revolutionised access to genealogical data – once the preserve of those able to spend days […]