Museum of Childhood to be more interactive after £95k revamp

The Museum of Childhood is among Capital's most popular attractions. Picture: Kate Chandler

The Museum of Childhood is among Capital's most popular attractions. Picture: Kate Chandler

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IT’S one of Edinburgh’s most cherished museums, situated on the Royal Mile and well known for its collections of porcelain dolls, puppets and push bikes.

And now the Museum of Childhood is set for its first transformation in 30 years, as its ground floor is completely revamped into a modern fun factory for children.

Staff are very excited to have the opportunity to display collections 
in innovative ways”

GILLIAN FINDLAY

After being selected as just one of two museums in Edinburgh to receive a grant of £95,584 from Museums Galleries Scotland, plans to make the main floor gallery more interactive for families are being drawn up.

In the near future, visitors can expect to see display collections in new cabinets, as well as a fresh space aimed at encouraging integrated play and active learning.

However, Gillian Findlay, senior curator for the city council, said discussions were ongoing over exactly how it would look.

She said: “For the first time the gallery will integrate space for play and active learning, which we hope will encourage even more local and family groups to use the venue.

“We’re currently exploring ways in which we can make the space more welcoming and how we can encourage a playful approach, from imaginative use of lighting, photographs and film to develop interactive exhibits – both low and hi-tech.”

Since the museum opened its doors in 1955, it has collected a wide variety of toys, games, clothes and books.

Its large collection of rocking horses, old-fashioned bikes and even children’s shoes have continued to attract visitors.

The museum aims to explore all aspects of childhood – including child-raising, healthcare and education.

However, with the extra funding, the museum will now be introducing new displays – bringing out items that have been in storage for more than 30 years.

Ms Findlay added: “The museum has been collecting widely since its creation in 1955 and this presents a great opportunity for visitors to see toys, games, clothes and books not seen before.

“Museum staff are very excited to have the opportunity to display collections in new and innovative ways, choosing star objects and unexpected stories.

“Visitor feedback will help decide how future refurbishment will develop so that the 200,000 visitors we receive each year have a rewarding and enjoyable experience.”

The Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture, on The Mound, also received funding from Museums Galleries Scotland.

These projects are just two of 14 across the country to share £580,0000 of support.

Joanne Orr, chief executive of Museums Galleries Scotland, said: “MGS investment is helping to raise the standards of Scotland’s museums and I am pleased to be able to fund the ambitions of the sector.

“The projects will bring far reaching and long-lasting benefits for the museums and their communities.”