Pitt Rivers Museum to get a £1m lottery grant

Pitt Rivers Museum staff Kate White, left, and Helen Hales. Picture: OX54997 Ed Nix

Pitt Rivers Museum staff Kate White, left, and Helen Hales. Picture: OX54997 Ed Nix Buy this photo

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by

SOME of Oxford’s most weird and wonderful artefacts will emerge from dusty shelves and into the light, thanks to a £1m grant.

The Pitt Rivers Museum in South Parks Road has won £1,049,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The money will be spent on more staff, improving displays and creating new public activities at the 128-year-old museum.

Museum special projects officer Helen Hales said: “A lot of work went into this bid so we are very relieved and excited. It has been about 18 months in the making.”

The cash is for the museum’s £1.6m VERVE, or Visitors, Engagement, Renewal, Visibility and Enrichment, project.

Over the next five years, it plans to make major changes to the museum to help improve the facility for its 376,000 annual visitors.

Mrs Hales said: “We have had a lot of ideas about what we would like to do, but we haven’t had the people or the resources to do it. So we are going to recruit a six-person project team who will deal with everything from collections and conservation to education.

“We have got record visitors now, more people coming in than ever before and lots of people do love the museum.

“But their perception of it might be that it’s a jumble of curiosities with no order and they don’t know the history or meaning behind it.”

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The museum was founded in 1884 and houses more than 600,000 artefacts from Hawaiian feather cloaks to masks from Japan, Africa, Melanesia and North America.

They are arranged by type of artefact rather than by geographical area.

Mrs Hales said: “We are not going to be changing the museum itself but we will be improving it with new lighting, new reading displays and new interpretations of some of the collections.

“We’ll also be making the most of our digitised archives and running demonstrations, workshops, talks and after-hours events so people.”

She added: “We’re not changing in the sense of moving things around or ripping things out.

“It’s about keeping the magic, but making it easier to understand what is there.”

The museum has raised an additional £300,000 itself and is now hoping to raise a further £300,000 to complete the project.

Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South East Stuart McLeod said: “This fantastic project will really bring the museum’s collections to life for everyone to explore.”

Comments (7)

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10:04pm Thu 18 Oct 12

Myron Blatz says...

Pity the Museum and money can't be used to house the thousands of homeless people in and around Oxford, rather the loads of old bones and bits of historical junk.
Pity the Museum and money can't be used to house the thousands of homeless people in and around Oxford, rather the loads of old bones and bits of historical junk. Myron Blatz
  • Score: -9

8:22am Fri 19 Oct 12

Mark L. says...

Great news. This is a fantastic museum, that has provided days of interest to my family and I.
Great news. This is a fantastic museum, that has provided days of interest to my family and I. Mark L.
  • Score: 1

10:16am Fri 19 Oct 12

eatmygoal says...

Myron Blatz wrote:
Pity the Museum and money can't be used to house the thousands of homeless people in and around Oxford, rather the loads of old bones and bits of historical junk.
Don't buy a ticket, then it's not your money being spent on it. The Lottery funds all types of causes - including homelessness causes - that breadth of giving is one of the reasons that makes it so popular to play, resulting in more money available to give to all kinds of good causes. I doubt very much whether a 'homeless lottery' would raise nearly as much money as the National Lottery does for homelessness causes.
[quote][p][bold]Myron Blatz[/bold] wrote: Pity the Museum and money can't be used to house the thousands of homeless people in and around Oxford, rather the loads of old bones and bits of historical junk.[/p][/quote]Don't buy a ticket, then it's not your money being spent on it. The Lottery funds all types of causes - including homelessness causes - that breadth of giving is one of the reasons that makes it so popular to play, resulting in more money available to give to all kinds of good causes. I doubt very much whether a 'homeless lottery' would raise nearly as much money as the National Lottery does for homelessness causes. eatmygoal
  • Score: 1

3:41pm Fri 19 Oct 12

Darkforbid says...

There are no Homeless Charities in Oxford... Unless you want to include the "church profit from housing" ones
There are no Homeless Charities in Oxford... Unless you want to include the "church profit from housing" ones Darkforbid
  • Score: 0

4:33pm Fri 19 Oct 12

eatmygoal says...

Darkforbid wrote:
There are no Homeless Charities in Oxford... Unless you want to include the "church profit from housing" ones
Charities in Oxford working directly for homeless people include:

OxHop
The Gatehouse
Steppin' Stones
Elmore Community Services
Crisis
Emmaus
and Connection, to name but a few.
[quote][p][bold]Darkforbid[/bold] wrote: There are no Homeless Charities in Oxford... Unless you want to include the "church profit from housing" ones[/p][/quote]Charities in Oxford working directly for homeless people include: OxHop The Gatehouse Steppin' Stones Elmore Community Services Crisis Emmaus and Connection, to name but a few. eatmygoal
  • Score: 0

9:16pm Fri 19 Oct 12

Darkforbid says...

Yep,,, loads of people paid to smile at the homeless, Any real help No...

Night shelter or nothing,,, and so many people to tell you...
Yep,,, loads of people paid to smile at the homeless, Any real help No... Night shelter or nothing,,, and so many people to tell you... Darkforbid
  • Score: 0

2:57am Sun 21 Oct 12

Carfax Cabby says...

Eatmygoal, if the only national lottery was to help the homeless then the sales would be exactly the same. We all gamble our money away to win millions, we do not care where the money goes. If we did care then we would not play it as most of it goes to make thatchers pals at camelot rich. Branson should have won the last bid.
Eatmygoal, if the only national lottery was to help the homeless then the sales would be exactly the same. We all gamble our money away to win millions, we do not care where the money goes. If we did care then we would not play it as most of it goes to make thatchers pals at camelot rich. Branson should have won the last bid. Carfax Cabby
  • Score: -74

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