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Guildford Museum Blog

Whether you are a museum geek, historian, local explorer or just browsing the web - read our monthly blog and discover more about all things museum related. We'll be telling you all about what we get up to; from work behind the scenes to setting up exhibitions, meeting interesting people, highlighting amazing objects and keeping you up to date with our projects.

Hidden Stories: the animals behind our needlework boxes
Tuesday 9 February 2021

In museums needlework boxes have traditionally been displayed either as beautiful, decorative items or to illustrate the lives of middle and upper-class women. However, have you ever considered the stories behind the materials they are made from? We take a look here.

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Georgian Guildford Banks
Monday 2 November 2020

Malcolm Watson, one of Guildford Museum's volunteers, takes a look at banknotes and the start of banking in Guildford.

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Mint condition - coins from our collection
Thursday 1 October 2020

Some research into banks in Georgian Guildford got me thinking about the importance of money to the town. Two periods are particularly interesting, separated by 600 years or so. I will cover the first of these here, looking at coins and the Guildford mint. I'll look at the Georgian banks in a second blog.

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John Russell's scrapbook - part two: secrets and discoveries
Tuesday 14 July 2020

With the help of scholar and researcher, Dr Timothy Underhill, our Curatorial Assistant, Gemma Haigh, has been discovering more about a scrapbook in our collection that contains drawings by Guildford artist, John Russell RA. Part two of this blog post will explore the discoveries we have made about the object and share some of its many secrets.

John Russell's scrapbook - part one: sketches and drawings
Tuesday 7 July 2020

With the help of scholar and researcher, Dr Timothy Underhill, our Curatorial Assistant, Gemma Haigh, has been discovering more about a scrapbook in our collection that contains drawings by Guildford artist, John Russell RA. Part one of this blog post explores Russell's drawings and sketches from the scrapbook.

Mystery objects
Tuesday 16 June 2020

The collections we hold at Guildford Heritage Service have been collected over a century. We look after more than 100,000 objects covering archaeology, social history, art and textiles. The objects have come to us through donations, purchases or excavations. A number are on long term loan from Surrey Archaeological Society and from individuals. Together the collections tell the story of life in the past in Guildford and Surrey.

Fifty years of friendship
Monday 1 June 2020

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Friends of Guildford House, Lynn Szygenda, our Exhibitions and Audience Development Manager, looks at the vital role the Friends have played in Guildford House Gallery's development.

Guildford Markets - what were they like in Elizabethan times?
Friday 1 May 2020

As a result of coronavirus, are you taking your food a little less for granted? It would seem we are realising just how important the people who grow and supply our food are. Guildford is fortunate to have a twice-weekly general food market, in North Street, and the monthly Farmers' Market in the High Street. In our May blog post, Guildford Museum Friend and Town Guide Nick Bale looks back at the markets that existed in Guildford over four hundred years ago.

A work experience week at Guildford Museum
Wednesday 1 April 2020

Student Ada Rogers joined the Heritage Services team for an eventful work experience week. Find out more about her encounters with a mummified rat, discovering mystery objects from the museum archives and travelling back in time in the Victorian Schoolroom...

A short story of the Charlwood Helmet and its journey so far...
Monday 2 March 2020

This month on our blog, we are sharing a story from Charlwood Church Research Group (CCRG), who were keen to reinstate a part of their village history using one particular object, which is usually on display in our Museum. The object is the Funeral Helmet of Sir Nicholas Saunders from St Nicholas Church in Charlwood.

Guildford Museum - this is what we've been up to!
Monday 10 February 2020

Our museum remains temporarily closed for maintenance work, but this month we catch up with our colleague Mark Graham, the Guildford Borough Council Building surveyor, who is leading this project. We asked Mark all about the challenges and surprises that have resulted from working on the project.

Our Highlights of 2019 at Guildford Heritage Services!
Friday 22 November 2019

In this blog post, staff and volunteers look back on the year and recall their most memorable moment.

Bringing Guildford Castle to life
Monday 11 November 2019

"It's the most wonderful time of the year" and we are getting ready for a royal visit from the past! We will be welcoming King Edward III, Queen Philippa of Hainault and members of their court to Guildford Castle on Saturday 7 December.

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A new addition to the Guildford Borough art collection: Anna Louisa Halsey by John Russell RA
Thursday 15 August 2019

With the help of the Friends of Guildford House Gallery, we have acquired a new addition to the Guildford Borough Art Collection.

Herbs, flowers, lotions and potions
Wednesday 3 July 2019

Syrian refugees are bringing us closer to medicines, perfumes and cosmetics once made at Guildford House.

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Guildford embroidered baby caps - the Wakeford Layette
Thursday 13 June 2019

In this second blog post about the museum's embroidered baby caps, Collections Manager Catriona Wilson looks at the poignant stories and emotions behind some of our baby clothes.

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God bless the sweet babe: Guildford Museum's embroidered baby caps
Monday 29 April 2019

As Guildford Museum's Collections Manager, I love researching the stories behind our collection of baby caps, which date from the late 1600s to the early 1900s. This first part of a two-part blog post looks at just a few of the 100 caps in our collection and the amazing work that went into making them.

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A day in the life of The Victorian Schoolroom
Monday 1 April 2019

We have an amazing team that delivers Victorian Schoolroom and Playroom sessions for Key Stage 1 and 2, and occasionally older students.

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Halow - building futures
Wednesday 6 March 2019

Here at Heritage Services we are always looking for a new ways to work with different community groups

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Wrapped in History: Unveiling our textile collection
Monday 4 February 2019

We have an extensive textile collection. This month we are diving into needlework from the 17th century up until the present day. The collection includes clothing, patchwork and a wide range of intricately stitched samplers. This blog post is the first of small series that will focus on unveiling the needlework in our care.

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Exquisite embroidery - delving into Guildford Museum's needlework collection
Friday 7 December 2018

Now that our needlework inventory is all sewn up, thanks to the help of the collections team and volunteers, we thought we would let you know about some of the beautiful lace and embroidery treasures in this collection.

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Can you help us identify this man? John Russell's pastel of 'The Village Doctor'
Thursday 1 November 2018

Our Museum's Collections Team and art historian Neil Jeffares check up on an intriguing portrait from the Borough Collection.

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Do you really know what you found?
Thursday 27 September 2018

A sneak peek into Simon Maslin's role as the new Surrey Finds Liaison Officer.

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Keeping track of everything!
Monday 3 September 2018

Find out how it all works from our curatorial assistant...

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Our History Our Identity project builds up speed
Wednesday 15 August 2018

We wanted to tell you about the first couple of weeks of our exciting new project...

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In conversation with our Lead Councillor for Skills, Arts and Tourism - Cllr Nikki Nelson-Smith
Wednesday 1 August 2018

Cllr Nikki Nelson-Smith talks more about art, science and collecting! Read more about Nikki's interests and passion for innovative industries and have a glimpse in to her creative mind.

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Behind the scenes: In our collection store with Catriona Wilson, Collections Manager
Monday 2 July 2018

Our collections team spends several days every week in the stores working alongside a trusty band of volunteers to carry out a full-scale inventory of the collection. This project has been running for a few years now, beginning with the archaeology collection (our largest collection) and moving onto Local History in 2016.

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Celebrating Volunteers' Week
Monday 4 June 2018

Guildford Museum is celebrating our volunteers from Friday 1 to Thursday 7 June 2018.

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