As archivists, we're frequently considering how we can encourage more people to engage with our collections. At Dorset History Centre, they're working on an HLF-funded project in partnership with Walford Mill Crafts and staff at the National Trust's Kingston Lacy property in Wimborne. They're aiming to stimulate interest in the Bankes family archive by appointing a craftsperson to produce contemporary works in response to the stories contained within it.
Over 3-6 months in the coming year, they'll spend time with the team at the Dorset History Centre to explore the scope of the Bankes archive and become familiar with the Kingston Lacy estate, exploring the site and property in liaison with National Trust staff, volunteers and tenants. They'll show their work within the house, landscape or grounds and will be expected to engage with the local community during their residency, perhaps by working with staff and volunteers at Kingston Lacy to uncover its hidden stories or by inviting local residents to a craft workshop at Walford Mill Crafts.
It sounds like a fascinating opportunity for uncovering family secrets. Just imagine ... you've a legitimate excuse to read other people letters!