A History of the North in 100 Objects is an interactive website funded by the National Lottery and developed by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM) with the aim of making more accessible some of the pioneering works by inventors, artists, scientists and designers of the north of England’s that have made an impact through history.
The website offers visitors from around the world the opportunity to click on individual objects, which each have a separate page, view a good quality image of the object, read a short summary of its history and importance as well as listen to an audio of the text. The individual object pages tell the user where they can find the object (mostly in museums across the north of England) and provide a link to a relevant website.
As well as this there is a map, timeline and themes to help visitors search for objects of interest and an option to create their own exhibition. The ten themes explored in the project are: Travel & Transport, Art & Design, Work & Industry, Religion & Faith, Inventions & Innovations, Sport & Leisure, Music & Entertainment, Landscape & Natural History, Politics & Protest, and Words & Literature.
Developers say the website brings together objects that illustrate the richness that comes from this region and its people, such as the creation of railways, a flourishing artistic life, the drive for social reform, and the sheer breadth and depth of world renowned inventions.
“The North of England is a hub of creativity and innovation,” said Iain Watson, Director, TWAM. “It’s where railways were born, it’s been home to some of our most creative inventors and now it’s a hub of scientific and industrial innovation. These 100 objects, selected by, and displayed in, Museums across Northern England reflect some of these stories. We won’t have everyone’s favourite object, but hope people will think about what objects tell stories they recognise as representing the North to them.”
Visitors to the website are invited to curate their own collection by saving up to 10 objects into a personal ‘exhibition’ which can then be shared via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or email. Users can vote for their favourite exhibitions and the most popular will be displayed prominently on the website. A key feature of Great Exhibition of the North, A History of the North in 100 Objects is also intended to act as a legacy for the Exhibition, as the website will be kept live for the foreseeable future.
The development of the website has been made possible thanks to money raised by National Lottery players and awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) who provided a grant of over £800,000 towards TWAM’s participation in Great Exhibition of the North.
Taking place from 22 June – 9 September 2018 across NewcastleGateshead, Great Exhibition of the North is a free event, which celebrates great art and culture, design and innovation from across the North.
A History of the North in 100 Objects includes:
Travel and Transport
Timothy Hackworth’s ‘Sans Pareil’ at Locomotion-National Railway Museum Shildon. (County Durham)
Art and Design
‘The Old Town Hall and St Hilda’s Church, Middlesbrough’ by LS Lowry, 1959 at MIMA (Middlesbrough)
Work and Industry
Turbinia, 1894 at Discovery Museum (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)
Religion and Faith
St Christopher Statue, 14th Century at Norton Priory Museum and Gardens. (Cheshire)
Inventions and Innovations
The Musical Stones of Skiddaw, 1840, Keswick Museum (Cumbria)
Sport and Leisure
The FA Cup, 1896 National Football Museum (Manchester)
Music and Entertainment
Bedspread, ‘All You Need is Love’, 1969 Museum of Liverpool (Liverpool)
Landscape and Natural History
‘The Struggle with the Quarry’ by John Hancock, 1851 GNM: Hancock (Newcastle-upon-Tyne)
Politics and Protest
Banner of Oldham Society of Women’s Suffrage, 1913 Gallery Oldham (Oldham)
Words and Literature
Emily Brontë’s Writing Desk, c.1830s-1840s Brontë Parsonage Museum (Yorkshire)
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