My name is Mariyam and I work as a Collections Support Officer at the Museum Collections Centre (often abbreviated as the MCC). The MCC is one of Birmingham Museum Trust’s sites and houses the reserve collections (those objects currently not on display) for all eight of our museums: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, ThinkTank Science Museum, Aston Hall, Blakesley Hall, Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Sarehole Mill, Soho House and Weoley Castle. Our collections are so extensive that only a small proportion can ever be shown all at once.
When thinking of visiting Birmingham’s sites you can be forgiven for overlooking the large, unsightly, industrial warehouse that is the MCC. However it is within such an unexpected and inconspicuous venue that you can discover much of the city’s rich and notable heritage.
The store, which sits just outside the heart of the city centre, is immense in size, measuring 9000m2 across 3 floors, 4 stores and a vast warehouse space, which further contains 10 km of aisle upon aisle of storage racking.
With approximately 800,000 objects spanning over thousands of years and an enormous breadth of artefacts, artwork, textiles and taxidermy that come from all over the world (and from just down the road) the stores tell a million stories.
Since opening its doors to the public in 2006 the store has become one of largest most accessible collections centres in the UK. Not only providing a research facility for curators and academics but enabling a ‘behind the scenes’ look for community and school groups through a variety of talks, workshops and guided tours. We also hold special events such as our atmospheric Halloween Evening and two Open Days a year.
To make your own discoveries come along to our next open day taking place this Sunday 18th August from 11am – 5pm (last entry 4pm). The theme of this event is animals and nature and families will love our visitors from Animalmania, Hatton Bug Zoo and the Falconry Centre. For more information visit www.bmag.org.uk/events?id=2552.
Alternatively book yourself onto one of our afternoon tours (last Friday of every month) – for information on bookings and access to the site please contact: Louise.Alden@birminghammuseums.org.uk.
To keep up to date with the MCC you can follow us on Facebook and look out for future blogs about the work taking place at the MCC from the Collection Support Officer Team.
Collections Support Officer
On Saturday, 17 November 2012 The Staffordshire Hoard conservation team will host a special Open Day In the Conservation Department at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
This is your chance to get behind the scenes and spend 1½ hours with hoard conservators looking at hoard objects under microscopes.
There will be a brief talk illustrating the find and contemporary and medieval metalworker Jamie Hall will demonstrate the ancient wire-making techniques used in the construction of the Hoard objects.
Hoard open day tickets are still available and you can choose to book on one of the three sessions starting at: 10:30am, 12:30pm and 2:30pm.
The price is £30 per person and you can book your tickets at BMAG’s online Box Office or ring 0121 303 1966.
Video of the Staffordshire Hoard Open Day that took place on December 3rd 2011.
You can read blogs by the conservators on their Hoard work and by Jamie Hall on Wire Making in the Hoard on the Staffordshire Hoard website.
The Open Day events are very popular and if you miss the chance to attend the open day, you can book a place on one of the guided tours of the Hoard Gallery and Conservation Studio, taking place on:
Wednesday 7 November and Wednesday 5 December.
Price: £20 per person
Buy tickets online or ring 0121 303 1966.
Funds raised from these events go directly toward conservation of the Staffordshire Hoard. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to discuss and observe objects up close and learn about ancient wire making techniques, while supporting the hoard conservation programme.
We hope to see you there!
The Hoard Conservation Team
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery