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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 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...
A composite of four images of a lichen covered rock. Each image is bordered by a black outline. On the left is a large image taking up three quarters of the composite, has a large flat surfaced grey rock covered in patched of yellow and orange lichen on a white background. On the right quarter of the image are three magnified images of different parts of the lichen. The top right image shows magnified grey and brown fruiting bodies on a patch oof pale yellow-grey crust like lichen. The centre right image is a magnified view of the rock with the top left and bottom right corners partially covered in yellow lichen growth and the grey rock in between dotted with dark brown fruiting bodies with pale edges. The bottom right image is a magnified view of the yellow lichen, some of the yellow oval growth have a dull orange-brown centre.

Liking Lichens

By Karen Banton, Assistant Collections and Learning Curator * Click on the photos below to visit our Collections Online database and discover more about that object. * During lockdown, one of the things I’ve had the chance to do, thanks to our John Ellerman...
A painted view of a country road. A red brick house is on the right in the middle ground and two figures a stood in front of it

John Moore of Ipswich

'A painter of land and sea' by Emma Roodhouse, Collections and Learning Curator * Click on the photos below to visit our Collections Online database and discover more about Moore. * “Visitors to the gallery always look for a collection of happy sea pieces and his...
The two sides of a gold coin. On one side is a profile on a mans head, on the other is a man on horseback

LGBT History Month

Ben Paites, Collections and Learning Curator * Click on the photos below to visit our Collections Online database and discover more about that object. * Sexuality and gender identity have not always been the same as we understand them in the modern day. Throughout...

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