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Discovering History on Your Doorstep in the East Midlands

Did you know the humble little Smarties tube was invented in Chesterfield, and that without the radio transmitting station in Daventry there would have been no BBC radio playing into living rooms across the nation? Or that the National Holocaust Centre and Museum in Nottinghamshire holds poignant memories and stories of people caught up in the World War 2 Holocaust that are powerful reminders for us all of this dark event in human history? Or that a small village in rural Lincolnshire became a mineral spa town for a while in the C19th attracting wealthy clientele from far and wide?

An innovative group of community museums across the East Midlands have banded together during the pandemic to pilot a new online way of helping you discover history on your doorstep. They are creating a series of interactive digital maps reuniting heritage artefacts back to the people, local places and global landscapes with which they were once connected. Each museum is preparing an individual map based upon objects in their collection. Once completed, these will be brought together in an online East Midlands map containing over 500 object stories that anyone across the world can explore for free! Maps continues to grow as new stories are added and new connections are made, so please get in touch if you have a story you want to share.

We are publishing our first set of maps to coincide with Heritage Open Days, opening a window into these museum collections for everyone to explore. The rest will be made available over the coming weeks and a collective map produced later in the Autumn.

The Earth Museum is delighted to be working on this experimental project in partnership with the following great local museums: Ashby-de-la-Zouch Museum, Barrow Hill Railway Roundhouse, Chesterfield Museum, Daventry Museum, Delapre Abbey, Diseworth Heritage Centre, Moira Furnace Museum and Country Park, National Holocaust Centre and Museum, Oundle Museum, Sharpe’s Pottery Museum, Sir John Moore Heritage Centre, Strutt’s North Mill in Belper, and Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum.

Dive in and Explore!

Our grateful thanks to Museum Development East Midlands and Arts Council England for their generous support making this experimental heritage collaboration possible.

NB This resource requires the latest versions of most common desktop browsers, and works best with Chrome and Firefox. It also supports most common current iOS and Android mobile devices. 

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