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FODMS visit to the TWAM Collections Store at Beamish

Oct 18 2016 News >> Latest News

As Friends we know that visitors to the Discovery Museum marvel at the objects on display. However we also know something that most visitors don’t, which is that these exhibits are a small part of a much larger stored collection stretching into thousands of objects. To give it its proper name the “Reserve Collection” is the reservoir that enables the curators to create new displays and exhibitions.

These objects are stored in purpose designed storage areas around the TWAM organisation. One such store facility is at the Regional Museums Store at Beamish. This purpose built facility is the result of a joint Heritage Lottery funded project between TWAM and Beamish Museum.

Whilst the general layout of the store can be seen from the public viewing area seeing the objects up close and personal can only be done on a specially arranged visit. So when the TWAM Keeper of Science & Industry John Clayson offered us another chance to visit the store we jumped at the chance.

On a fine September day a group of FODMs members assembled at Beamish to venture into the Aladdins Cave of the science and technology collections. Led by John we delved into all manner of objects large and small from a full size Doxford marine engine to 19th Century induction coil with a Grubb Parsons astronomical camera in between. Imaginations of new displays, interactives and science demonstration were sparked with great enthusiasm. The photograph conveys the picture but does not capture the excitement.

In the wine world term reserve or reserva denotes the highest quality, and so too with the science and industry reserve collection. Hopefully through FODMs we will be able to help the Discovery Museum to use this great resource to showcase North East history.

Graham Bradshaw 




Last changed: Oct 18 2016



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