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House of Memories’ 5th birthday!

21 September 2017 by Emma Riley

Last week we celebrated House of Memories’ 5th birthday!

We’re delighted that our dementia awareness programme has been running for over five years. During this time we’ve trained over 11,500 paid and family carers across the UK to help people to live well with dementia.

To celebrate we held a birthday bash at the Museum of Liverpool – a special celebration afternoon for carers who have taken part in House of Memories, and their VIPS (the people they care for living with dementia). Read more…

On the tiles

20 September 2017 by Liz

Shop front

The ornate green Galkoff tiles were added to the building in 1933.

Working to preserve the tiled frontage of P. Galkoff Kosher butcher shop as part of the Galkoff’s and Secret Life of Pembroke Place project has brought decoratively tiled buildings across the city to my attention! Read more…

Black Blossoms exhibition in Liverpool

19 September 2017 by Mitty

traditional African design of a Sankofa bird

One of a series of carved laser cut panels based on the Ashanti Adinkra symbols by Artist Merissa Hylton

About a month ago I had the pleasure of meeting Bee Tajudeen and Cynthia Silveria when they were up visiting Liverpool and popped into the International Slavery Museum. Bee is the founder of Black Blossoms, she and tell us about the organisation and their incredible exhibition which is on until 30 September in the Royal Standard in Liverpool. Artist Merrissa Hylton also talks about her work which is featured as part of the display.

Black Blossoms, an organisation which aims to amplify the voices of Black women in the creative industries, have begun their art exhibition tour across the UK. Their first location is The Royal Standard Gallery in Liverpool. The exhibition explores socio-political issues, feminism and self love from the perspective of self identifying Black women artists, living in Britain in 2017.  Read more…

20 years of the Treasure Act

18 September 2017 by Vanessa

Logo

24th September 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the commencement of the Treasure Act 1996 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

This September marks 20 years of the 1996 Treasure Act coming into force. This important Act allows museums across the country to acquire Treasure items for their collection, curating them and protecting them for the nation. Read more…

End of the line

15 September 2017 by Megan

End of the Line is a new exhibition that has opened at the Museum of Liverpool, celebrating 60 years since the last tram parade in the city. Read more…

Tell your own story at our ‘how to archive’ workshop

12 September 2017 by Mitty

family photograph

Rare picture that all of my siblings and both parents are in as one of us would usually be taking the picture. I still can’t keep my eyes open in pictures!

Heritage consultant Heather Roberts will be leading our Tell your story- How to archive workshop on Saturday – the latest of our fantastic free Sankofa project events. You can book your place by following the link here.

Heather tells us about some of the really interesting work she’s been doing in Manchester to support communities uncovering their own hidden histories:

“On the Hidden Histories, Hidden Historians project with Manchester Histories, I am working with five community groups on a wonderful archive project. I am guiding them through the process of finding, valuing and displaying their history.

One such organisation is Oldham Youth Council. They wish to reveal the heritage and histories hidden in their members’ families to highlight how diversity makes for stronger teams with shared goals. Read more…

Five House of Memories activities for World Alzheimer’s Month

4 September 2017 by Emma Riley

Memory walkSeptember 2017 is World Alzheimer’s Month, a campaign every September to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia.

Here at National Museums Liverpool our House of Memories dementia awareness programme enables carers, family and friends to provide person-centred support for people living with dementia.

To mark World Alzheimer’s Month we’ve complied five House of Memories activities to do with a loved one during September and all year round. Read more…

Radiocarbon dating World Museum’s collections

4 September 2017 by Jen G

Following news that World Museum could be home to some of the oldest human remains from north-west Europe, Dr Emma Pomeroy explains how radiocarbon dating is helping her research:

Radiocarbon dating involves destroying a tiny piece of the object you want to test. Although this will only leave a small trace on the object itself, it’s really important to have a good record of what the teeth and jaw were like. e before they were sampled to preserve them for future research. So on July 8th, we took the teeth and jaw to the Cambridge Biotomography Centre for micro-CT scanning by our colleague, Dr Laura Buck at the University of Cambridge.

Photo (top left) and 3D models of LIVCM 44.28.WE.3, a lower third molar (wisdom tooth), showing what is possible with the microCT output. Upper right: external surface. Lower left: window cut through surface to show inner structure. Lower right: surfaces made transparent to reveal inner structure.

CT (computed tomography) is the same technology that is used in hospitals to see inside the body. It uses X-ray images taken from many different angles to recreate a 3D version of the object or person. Micro-CT allows very high resolution digital 3D models to be constructed, preserving the teeth and jaws in virtual 3D form for future study. It also enables us to look inside the specimens and see their internal structure. This could be useful for future research, as well as showing whether the teeth have internal damage that we can’t see from the outside, such as cracks.

Copies of the digital models will be kept in the Museum as part of their archive. The Museum has also taken photographs of the specimens before they were loaned for sampling.

At Liverpool John Moore’s School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, we recently obtained an Artec Space Spider handheld 3D scanner. While micro-CT gives a fantastic level of internal and external detail, it doesn’t preserve the appearance of the objects on the outside – what is known as ‘texture’ in 3D imaging circles (but essentially what we could call colour). Surface scanners, such as the Artec Space Spider, use structured light to recreate objects in 3D, including their ‘texture’. By combining traditional photography with micro-CT scanning and structured light surface scanning, we can create the best possible record of the teeth and jaws in 2D and 3D.

Surface scanning the maxilla (LIVCM 44.28.WD) with the Artec Space Spider at Liverpool John Moores University.

 

Slavery Remembrance Day 2017: 18 and counting

22 August 2017 by Richard

Gee Walker (centre, purple jacket) on the 2013 Walk of Remembrance

This year from the 22 – 23 August the International Slavery Museum will be leading on the city’s 18th Slavery Remembrance Day commemorations during our 10th anniversary. This has become a key date not only in the calendar of the Museum, but nationally, with people coming from around the UK to engage with a series of contemplative, commemorative and celebratory events. On Tuesday 22nd the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. building will host the Dorothy Kuya Slavery Remembrance Lecture, named in honour of a friend of the Museum, tireless anti-slavery campaigner and historian who sadly passed in 2013.

The keynote speaker at our annual event is someone who focuses on a historical theme, and possibly challenge often accepted narratives of history, in a constructive and inspiring way or someone who like the Museum campaigns against issues of social injustices. That is why this years speaker, Dr Gee Walker, founder of the Anthony Walker Foundation and mother to Anthony, a young Black man brutally murdered in a racist attack in 2005 is an ideal speaker. I know Gee personally and it is quite extraordinary that her heart is not filled with hate but hope. It is therefore an honour to act as a trustee of the Anthony Walker Foundation that aims to promote racial harmony through education, sport and the arts, promoting the celebration of diversity and personal integrity and the realisation of potential of all young people

I am looking forward to hearing Gee talk about Anthony and her work and her daughters Dominique and Stephanie who have been integral to the work of the Foundation and championing hate crime reporting in the city. Dominique once made one of the most moving statements I have heard in my role when she described the Anthony Walker Education Centre located within the Museum as “My brother’s room”. This showed how important our work is. Dominique and Stephanie will be part of a Q & A chaired by BBC Radio Merseyside Producer and Presenter Ngunan Adamu.

We have many free events over the two days but one of the most important is the libation ceremony which remembers and pays homage to the ancestors, many taken from their families, friends and homelands in Africa as part of the barbarous transatlantic slave trade that helped build many cities such as Liverpool. I hope you can join us.

Richard

See the full programme of all our Slavery Remembrance Day events here.

We are 10

18 August 2017 by Richard

International Slavery Museum 10th anniversary logologo

The International Slavery Museum is 10. We have had such a journey, done so many things, and met so many people; been involved in controversies, and literally changed people’s lives. So how do you write a blog about all that? Well it’s difficult, so let me take you back to 2008 when we launched our 1st anniversary exhibition rather unsurprisingly titled We Are One. As part of the introduction text I wrote the following:

Integral to the Museum’s interpretation of the story of transatlantic slavery is a belief that Africans, despite their oppression, were the main agents of their own liberation. We hope we represent their stories faithfully. The Museum also sees itself as an active campaigner against racism and discrimination today, and we work closely with a number of human rights organisations. Our Education Centre is named in memory of Anthony Walker, the Black Liverpool teenager who was murdered in 2005…We hope you have been inspired positively by your visit today.

International Slavery Museum’s ‘We Are One’ school logo

I believe we have been faithful to those words in our first 10 years because I, and our small dedicated team, have continually strived for that. I remember meeting Presidents, famous personalities, speaking at UNESCO in Paris and the UN in New York.

I am proud of our partnerships with NGOs and human rights organisations such as Anti-Slavery International, I am proud and honoured to know and work with people like Gee Walker, founder of the Anthony Walker Foundation, and mother of Anthony, I am proud to have made close friendships with many members of the Liverpool Black community, some critical friends, but all who believe in what we do and have supported us on our journey; the late Dorothy Kuya, Eric Lynch, Dr Ray Costello, Councilor Anna Rothery, Michelle Charters and many other historians, activists and community figures, they know who they are. The list of our work and achievements is long, diverse, and powerful.

Blog author, Dr Richard Benjamin, Head of the International Slavery Museum (c) Dave Jones

At the heart of our Museum are real people working conscientiously within a difficult area whilst actively fighting the legacies of transatlantic slavery too. This is not easy, not many museums do it, and so I say to all the people who read this blog who have not visited the Museum to do so, and to keep up to date with our plans, such as opening the Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. building, the iconic building on the Albert Dock, as part of the Museum. Not everyone agrees with what we do, or how we do it but one thing I do know, if the Museum is not here in 10 years time the city and this country will be a worse place for it. So please, join us on our journey and in the words of the great Curtis Mayfield “Keep On, Keepin’ On”.

Read about all our special 10th anniversary events here



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Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.