Can you help the Museum of Oxford raise £10,000 towards its Redevelopment?

Published: Monday, 2nd July 2018

Oxford residents are being invited to help conserve special Oxford objects to help fund the £3.2m Museum of Oxford redevelopment.

The campaign, which is a part of the Museum of Oxford’s Hidden Histories redevelopment aims to bring special items which have previously been in storage, on display in the new museum.

Members of the public are invited to pledge to the Museum of Oxford’s crowd-funder page to help ensure the safe transportation and conservation of these objects, ready for their installation in to the new museum space. 

The crowdfunder will run for six weeks from Monday 2 July until Monday 13 August 2018. 

The special items available to support include:

  • Penicillin Culture Vessel – Used to produce culture in Oxford which was a hotbed of penicillin production during WW2.
  • Bank Note from the Old Bank - From the Old Bank Hotel on High Street. This note bears the city and university’s crests on it and has been stamped several times.
  • Elizabethan Wall Painting - A section of a wall with an intricate floral design from an Elizabethan inn that would have been situated on Corn Market
  • The Wolvercote Gorget – Armour which would have been used to protect a soldier’s neck during the Civil War.
  • Policeman’s uniform – Formal police dress from the late 19th century (uniform, helmet, boots and sword).

Each item has their own unique conservation needs, are in need of expert conservation support, and specialist transportation in order to ensure they can be brought in to the new museum space.

All of the objects available to support for this project are in the care of the Oxfordshire County Council Museum Service.

Members of the public who pledge between £5 and £250 will receive a variety of ‘perks’ through crowdfunder, depending on the amount donated.

The perks include a VIP invite to the Museum of Oxford launch event, a limited edition tote bag, a supporter’s image, an invitation to the installation of their chosen object, and more.

92% of proceeds from the museum’s crowdfunding campaign will go towards the Museum of Oxford redevelopment. The remaining 8% will go towards fees from Crowdfunder.

The redevelopment will see the Old Museum, which was partially closed in 2011, transformed to increase the size of the museum and the number of objects on display from 286 to around 750. It will tell the often-overlooked story of Oxford, its people and its communities through exhibits, objects and new oral histories.

The project aims to create an award-winning museum and heritage events space in the centre of Oxford.

The project will also see the creation of a new shop and reception desk, forming a much improved welcome area for the Museum and improved facilities for the museum’s 100+ volunteers.

Over the past few months, the Museum of Oxford has hosted a range of fundraising events through the museum's Development Trust. So far, £98,000 of a £450,000 fundraising target has been raised. The team will be continuing to fundraise towards the redevelopment.

Earlier this year, the museum was awarded a grant of £1.63 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).  

The Development Trust was granted charity status by the Charities Commission in July 2017, which allows it to receive gift aid, and raise funds to support the improvement of facilities, collections, exhibitions, learning opportunities and advocate for the museum’s stories and its services.

Technical design and relocating some of the exhibits will start in summer 2018; with construction due to commence in summer 2019 and the new museum will open by summer 2020.

Councillor Mary Clarkson, Executive Board member for Culture and the City Centre, said: “We are very excited to kick-start this new campaign for fundraising for the Museum of Oxford redevelopment.

"These objects all have special conservation requirements, and help us find out more about the history of Oxford. We want to the public to be able to see these objects when the museum redevelopment has been completed, and we want the public to be involved in helping to save them.

"There are many exciting perks for getting involved in the crowdfunding campaign, and we hope that people will want to help us bring these items back in to public viewing. Without your help these objects might remain hidden forever.”

To find out more about the items, see the perks, and donate, please visit the Oxford Hidden Histories Crowdfunder page.