Screen CBBC's Relic: Guardians of the Museum and run a Relic trail through your collections for Museums at Night

By Culture24 Staff | 07 April 2010
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It’s a TV show, a game, a journey through time and a chance for new visitors to experience your venue after hours, thanks to a partnership between the BBC and the British Museum’s A History of the World project and Culture24.

Over Museums at Night weekend (14-16 May 2010), you can screen a DVD of one episode of Relic: Guardians of the Museum, CBBC’s hugely popular TV series with the British Museum. You can show this to the public for free on one night only.

This DVD is being offered together with a family-friendly challenge trail inspired by the challenges the children encounter in the series. You’ll receive this in a pre-designed template format into which you can drop between three and five of your museum’s artefacts.

More than 400 museums are taking part in A History of the World already, and 31 of them successfully tried out the Relic trail over the Easter holiday.

All you have to do is make sure that the objects for your trails have all been photographed and added to the History of the World website with their stories. They must be man-made objects held in public collections, labelled with AHOW branding and telling their story explaining each object’s local and global significance.For details on how to do this, go to www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/get-involved/adding-objects/

You must also register your Museums at Night event listing on the Culture24 DDE database, so we can help you promote it: a step-by-step guide to doing this is here.

The DVD screening is only available for Museums at Night, so do take advantage of this unique opportunity by registering your interest with Frances Carey , FCAREY@thebritishmuseum.ac.uk by Friday, 23rd April. Likewise for the Relic trail if you have not already got one.

Any Questions? See below to find out more.

Q. What is A History of the World?

A. A unique partnership running throughout 2010 between the BBC, the British Museum and museums across the UK to tell history through man-made objects that have both local and global resonances. Hundreds of museums and members of the public have already joined the project which is featuring in a host of television and radio programmes, including the BBC Radio 4 landmark series, A History of the World in 100 Objects, presented by Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum.

Q. How is A History of the World organised around the UK?

A. Museums and other types of public collection are mapped against the BBC areas with a lead contact for the BBC and the museums in each case. At the outset each area was asked to choose 10 objects (60 for Scotland, 50 for Wales and 25 for Northern Ireland) to represent a history of the world from the vantage point of that region. The resulting 585 objects joined the British Museum’s 100 for the launch of the site on the 18th January. Since then it has been possible for any institution or individual to upload objects to the site. The current tally is more than 2000 objects, with over 400 museums participating from every part of the UK.

To find out more about the project, the objects, the programmes and what has been submitted from your area, visit www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld.

Q. What is Relic: Guardians of the Museum?

A. A 13-part CBBC game show developed in partnership with the British Museum. In each episode 3 children are summoned to the British Museum by spooky tour guide Agatha and are given just one night to uncover the secrets of a famous object or ‘relic’ inside the museum. Each ‘relic’ is taken from the BM/BBC Radio 4 series A History of the World in 100 Objects. The first showing of the CBBC series will end on the 15th April. It will be repeated twice during the summer and autumn of 2010. For full details visit: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qgvyz.

Q. How do the Relic trails work?

A. The trails are printed out and given to visitors from a central point. The British Museum versions involve 5 objects with 5 challenges that test different skills, with a time allotted to each. Each trail takes about 45 minutes to complete. Those who are successful are directed to a place where they can print out certificates. You must also upload the objects featured in the trail to the A History of the World website where they can be viewed online.

You can find out how to add your objects to the website at www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/get-involved/adding-objects/.

Q. Are they popular?

A. Very!

Q. Will the trails only work with very large collections such as the British Museum’s?

A. No. The idea is infinitely adaptable to venues of almost any size and content. Between 3-5 objects is the optimum range for the number you need, depending on the size of your building, to encourage visitors to explore as much of the museum as possible. More than 30 museums, some very small, have opted to run the trails over Easter. Examples of these can be provided to other museums.

Q. How long can you use the Relic trail for?

A. Throughout 2010. The DVD showing of Relic is for one night only (please recycle the DVD after use); you cannot make a charge for the viewing. You can use the Relic trail all year.

Q. Can any organisation join in?

A. Details of the terms are to be found on the website www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/about/rules/ but the headlines are that objects must be man-made, tell a story about human history and be held in a public collection. Interest should be registered with Frances Carey: FCAREY@thebritishmuseum.ac.uk by 23rd April.