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Behind The Scenes Blog

Almost everyday is different at Colchester + Ipswich Museums.  To help showcase the variety of skills we need, our staff are revealing what they get up to…

Latest Blogs

A colour photograph of two creamy-yellow European painted top shells. The shells are cone shaped with a wide base. One is right side up with its tip pointing towards the camera, the other is laying on its side with the underside and mouth of the shell visible.

Washed Ashore

By Karen Baton, Assistant Collections and Learning Curator  * Click on the photos below to visit our Collections Online database and discover more. *   As restrictions loosen, we’re all starting to think about what we might be doing or where we might be going...
A colour photograph showing a large cylindrical container, a small glass container with a wide base and narrow neck, and a small brown bowl

Decoding the Roman Dead: A Bit Of Background

By Glynn Davis, Senior Collections and Learning Curator and Lead Curator for the ‘Decoding the Roman Dead’ exhibition * Click on the photos below to visit our Collections Online database and discover more. *   Decoding the Roman Dead is an exhibition that...
A group of five ceramic jars of different sizes and shapes. They are all pale or white and decorated with intricate blue designs and Latin words in capital letters

Historical Cures: Colchester’s Apothecary Jars

By Liz Tregenza, Collections and Learning Curator * Click on the photos below to visit our Collections Online database and discover more about that object. *   Today we are used to our medicines, pills and ointments coming in packets, or glass or plastic bottles....
A black square set against a white background. Inside the square is the text: Black History Month Colchester

Black History Month

All objects have a story to tell. Some stories are well known and easy to hear, but others are forgotten about, ignored or difficult to share. Behind the labels for the objects in museums are untold stories, which we are seeking to reveal. We recognise that our...
A watercolour painting showing a large, red brick building in the middle distance on the left hand side of the frame. To the right hand side is a lake, with two swans. In the immediate foreground are leafy green trees on either side and in the centre are three cows. Sheep are sat by the trees to the left. Three churches and the rooves of other buildings are visible behind a line of trees.

Landscape Research Group

By Emma Roodhouse, Collections and Learning Curator ​ What do maps, well-being and the climate crisis have to do with landscape art? These are just the sorts of questions that the Landscape Research Group seeks to explore. This research group is dedicated to British...
A landscape painting showing a large area of soft blues and grey in the foreground, possibly an expanse of water. In the distance is a mountain. The lower part is in greys and greens, but the upper part is pinkish and a line of white smoke is coming away from the peak. The sky is a light blue grey.

Mackmurdo and the Century Guild

By Liz Tregenza, Collections and Learning Curator * Click on the photos below to visit our Collections Online database and discover more about that object. *   Colchester + Ipswich Museums hold a rich collection of material associated with, and donated by, the...
A colour photograph of a large diorama behind glass. The scene depicts a sheer cliff face with flying and perched birds

Scotland’s Alcatraz

By Elaine West, Visitor Services Assistant Bass Rock is a small island of volcanic rock located off the Scottish Coast, which rises over 100 metres above sea level. The island has been used as a religious retreat, a fortress, a prison, a place to fish, to collect...
A picture of rubber sealed clip lid jars containing specimen tubes with preserved spiders and specimen labels. The jars are filled with a clear, ethanol based, preservative spirit. There are five clearly visible jars, with two stacked on top of another two. More jars are visible indicating that another double stacked row of jars is present behind the one in the foreground and to either side of the main image focus.

Documenting at a Distance

By Karen Banton, Assistant Collections and Learning Curator One of the challenges of lockdowns and restricted access to the museum has been continuing the documentation work of our John Ellerman Foundation projects. But it hasn’t stopped us being able to get more of...
Rows of different coloured thread including shades of yellow, green, purple and cream

Hollytrees Cushions

By Megan Fowler, Visitor Information Assistant and Liz Tregenza, Collections and Learning Curator Hollytrees Museum may currently be shut owing to COVID-19, however lots of work is still going on behind the scenes. In this blog post we are going to introduce an...
4 views piece of bone carved into a phallus

Roman Magic

The Camulodunum Case Study by Adam Parker, PhD student at the Open University * Click on the photos below to visit our Collections Online database and discover more about that object. * The ancient world was a dangerous place where misfortune and bad luck were...

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