Exploring Childhoods Project

Family admiring the museum collection in the home gallery, Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire

With the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) we can now expand our collections to better represent late twentieth and early twenty-first century childhoods.

In the next five years we’ll be working with local community groups and schools, as well as developing new volunteer opportunities, to help us make important decisions on which objects represent childhoods from this era in the best way possible.

We’ll have a new community panel advising us on all stages of the project and a new outreach programme to take our collections beyond the museum walls. Volunteers will also have the chance to get involved in research and other new roles that have been created.

We hope to create solid partnerships and stronger collections. The museum will keep evolving through this exciting journey and as we receive new objects for the collection they'll go on display for everyone to enjoy. Watch out for new exhibtions too.

We’re really looking forward to seeing the changes!

Latest posts

24 Nov 17

A 1980s favourite

We’ve been looking for a BMX to add to the collections for a while now and this month we’ve finally found the one we want! This Raleigh Burner BMX, in yellow and blue, was suggested by one of the parents of our ‘mini curators’ back in June. Made in the mid 1980s it's an item I'm sure many of you will remember! We’ve also managed to purchase a full matching racing suit, and hope to get hold of a suitable number for the front of the bike (essential for racing!) and a full face helmet. It needs a bit of conservation work to get the loose mud off, and then we’ll get it out on display. We’re also working hard on a new project gallery, to be opened in December. It will be a showcase for objects as they come in, and will have ‘open storage’ so you can see some of what goes on behind the scenes.

Raleigh burner bicycle

10 Oct 17

We’ve been busy collecting!

Although we’ve had the busy rush of summer, we’ve managed to get going on purchasing some more exciting objects for the collection. Purchases have included lots of objects from 1968, which is the year that the National Trust took over Sudbury Hall. We’ve now got an original Kerplunk game, complete with box of marbles, and a beautiful Corgi Magic Roundabout Carousel, which when wound, plays the show’s evocative theme tune. We’re also really happy to be able to add a vintage Ken doll, from 1962, to our collection of Barbie and Ken dolls. This doll was the second version of Barbie’s boyfriend that Mattel produced, the earlier 1961 version featured flock hair and was speedily replaced as Ken lost his hair far too quickly! We’re now working hard putting together a fresh gallery for the growing collection of new objects. Watch this space; it will be open before Christmas.

Ken doll

29 Jun 17

Host school pupils open their exhibition

The end of June brought with it a big celebration. The pupils from Sudbury Primary school gathered with their family, along with staff from the school, to officially open their exhibition in our 'Gallery 8'. We had a lovely presentation, with lots of cheering as the children received their 'Mini Curator' badges. The ‘Mini Curators’ then they took their family members up to the gallery to give them a tour and show them the objects that they chose, which are displayed alongside the project work inspired by their choices. All had a great time and big thanks are due to all, but especially to the enthusiastic children and staff at Sudbury Primary School, and to our inspirational Learning Officer, Kat Ralls. You can also see the children explain and talk about the exhibition in their film. You can visit the exhibition at the Museum until the 2nd of October 2017.