Beamish tells the stories of the North East through the objects, buildings and people that you see out on site which, at the moment, represents three major time periods – Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian. However, not everything the museum owns can be readily seen on display, and the vast majority of these objects are housed within our specially constructed stores at the Regional Resource Centre.
At the moment the stores aren’t open to the public except for pre-organised store tours, special events, or for research purposes. However, things are set to change.
This summer, the Curatorial Team will gradually introduce the museum’s stores to the public as part of the Museum experience, enabling you to walk in and out of parts of the store to view the collections at your leisure.
As well as being able to view some of our already established collections of objects, we will also be introducing a few of our future developments, including the newer time periods – the 1950s and 1980s.
Of course, not everything will be able to be seen in the Open Stores, as there are thousands of objects in the collections. Parts of our core collections will still only be accessible through organised store tours. However, the aim is to make everything much more accessible.
The processes involved in setting up the Open Stores are huge, and revolve around the balance between keeping the store open, interesting and accessible to the public, but also enabling the Museum to continue to use what is basically a working store. As a result, the Open Stores project will develop over time, so hopefully there will be new things to see as more parts of the store open up.
The Open Stores will be open for a soft opening on the 19th July this year.
We looking forward to seeing you in the stores, and hearing your feedback about the objects we’ve displayed and the store itself!