Colchester Museums’ Hidden Histories

PUBLISHED: 11 March 2021

Join Colchester Museums and discover some of the museums’ Hidden Histories, in a new programme of events and displays.

At Colchester Museums, all objects have a story to tell. Some stories are well-known and are easy to hear, but others are forgotten, ignored or are difficult to share. Behind the labels for the objects in its museums are untold stories which Colchester Museums would like to tell through its new Hidden Histories programme.

The team recognise that some of the permanent displays in its museums do not fully represent the people of Colchester. Through an ongoing series of projects, they will be uncovering some of the more diverse stories attached to these objects.

These projects aim to uncover and share the Hidden Histories and diverse narratives within the museum’s vast collections. Exploring themes such as Black history, LGBTQ+ history and neurodiversity, and working with people who have lived experience, we will be bringing some captivating and engaging stories to our visitors – both online and in person (after Government guidance allows museums to open safely once again).

Hidden Histories begins by looking at ‘West African Gold’ in medieval Europe. The display was produced in partnership with people in Colchester with connections to West Africa, who were able to tell the stories of these objects in their global context.

Visitors will discover emotive stories connected with the powerful empires of West Africa during the 1300-1500s. Presenting gold objects from the collections, including coins and rings, this display will uncover the story of how 60 percent of gold in medieval Europe originated from West Africa.

Councillor Julie Young, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Performance and Deputy Leader of the Council said: “It’s incredible how objects can transport us back through time and help us understand how we have got to where we are now. Hidden Histories will draw our visitors in, showcase some rare and exciting objects and remind visitors of the stories often never told behind the shaping of our history.”

Discover Hidden Histories online here

View Colchester + Ipswich Collections Online here


Page last reviewed: 11 March 2021


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