Plaques presented to military museums with outstanding Designated collections

By Culture24 Staff | 08 October 2009
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  • Archived article
a goup photo of people holding plaques

(Above - left to right) Mark Smith and Eileen Noon, Firepower; Richard Dunn, Royal Engineers Museum; Hedley Swain, MLA; Richard Smith, Tank Museum and Paula Brikci, MLA. © MLA

Three outstanding military museum collections featuring tanks, artillery and army engineering were presented with commemorative plaques this week in recognition of their Designated collections status.

The three museums, the Tank Museum, the Royal Engineers Museum and Firepower – the Royal Artillery Museum, were given their plaques at an awards ceremony during the annual Army Museums Ogilby Trust Conference in London.

The Designation scheme recognises important collections across England and is administered by the Museums Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) to support and celebrate the most outstanding collections in non-national institutions for outstanding quality and significance.

Presenting the plaques, Paula Brikci, MLA’s Designation Manager, said: “Organisations holding Designated collections are already expected to be working to a high standard of curatorship, to have a strong research drive and to meet visitor expectations.

“We also want visitors to be able to recognise these collections as being amongst the very best, to do this we have commissioned eye-catching plaques for each organisation.”

a gas mask

(Above) A rare WWI German gas mask from the Royal Engineers collection. © Richard Moss / Culture24

The Royal Engineers Museum boasts a vast holding of artefacts ranging from armoured vehicles outside, artefacts covering everything from the Napoleonic era to the Falklands War and a library and archive containing thousands of books, documents and photographs.

Firepower, the Museum of Royal Artillery, lays claim to being the oldest military museum in the UK and holds a world class collection of artillery and associated weapons, uniforms, drawings, displays of diaries and medals that bring together some 700 years of world artillery history.

At the Tank Museum in Bovington visitors can discover the best collection of tanks in the world with over 300 tanks and armoured vehicles from over thirty different countries. A recent redevelopment and redisplay has seen the museum transformed into a state of the art visitor attraction.

Paula also outlined how MLA is developing an advocacy campaign for the Designated collections scheme and highlighted recent work with Culture24 to promote them.

Some of the work the website had recently done to promote the collection of the Royal Engineers Museum was showcased by site Editor Richard Moss. Delegates were also shown a short film, featuring curator Rebecca Nash of the Royal Engineers Museum talking about VC awardee, Sapper Hackett, whose medals are held in the Designated collection at the Museum.

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