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Learning & Community

Past Projects

Commemoration of the Centenary of the First World War, 2018 

first, world, war, centenary, logo


We were delighted to be awarded Heritage Lottery Fund support of £6,800 towards its plans for commemorating the Centenary of the First World War. We wanted to share Swindon’s WWI heritage in a way that was relevant, engaging and offered a variety of new perspectives for audiences, focusing on social history and modern art collections. There were three exhibitions exploring World War I through modern and contemporary art, and through Swindon’s own military history:


Cicatrix Exhibition (cicatrix: the scar of a healed wound) – a commemoration exhibition telling the story of Wiltshire during World War I.

The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry: A History  - explored the history of the Yeomanry with a special focus on their service in France between 1914 and 1918.

Art and Conflict - brought together paintings and drawings from the Swindon Collection which reflect on war and conflict.

There was a series of family and educational workshops to accompany the exhibitions, as well as free lunch time talks where visitors could find out more about key works in the exhibitions.

SwindRoman Gold Coinon’s Archaeology in Context: Excavating our archaeological collections and sharing Swindon’s ancient histories, 2016-18

A generous grant of £62,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund supported this two-year project to refresh and update our archaeology gallery, displaying objects previously in store and improving the interpretation of our collections for the public.  Changes were also made in the way we collect archaeology from current and future excavations. This work is particularly timely; the anticipated expansion of Swindon in the coming years is likely to produce a large amount of archaeological material which we will care for in the long term.

Hidden Potential, 2014-16

In 2014 we received £80,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to improve our understanding of the size and nature of the Museum’s extensive collections, make recommendations on future storage needs, and improve access to the Collections.

Over the course of two years we worked with a dedicated team of volunteers to catalogue, document and pack nearly 10,000 objects.  We were able to share around 1,000 objects from our stores online through our ‘pick of the month’ feature and in our exhibition, ‘Swindon in 175 images’. 

swindon, 175, commemoration, exhibition


Some of the objects are now on long-term display in our refreshed Natural World and Made in Swindon Galleries.

The project allowed us to provide better care for objects, to learn more about them, and to make staff, volunteer and researcher access to objects easier. This means we can identify future projects and improvements, and makes applying for funding and participating in existing projects and research much more straight-forward.

Natural World Gallery Refresh, July 2015

New World Gallery Refresh

In 2015, Luisa, a student on the Museum Studies MA at Bath Spa University, worked with the team to fully catalogue the collections on display in the Natural World Gallery. She was able to improve the way the collections are displayed, as well as displaying some of the stored collections in the refreshed gallery. Thanks Luisa!

From Where I’m Standing

During 2016, Swindon College worked closely with artists participating in the Swindon MAG exhibition ‘From Where I’m Standing’. Arts Council England ‘Grants for Arts’ funding supported artist workshops, talks and gallery visits for 70 HE and FE students.

talk, swindon, museum, art, collections


Engagement Manager

This role was funded by Arts Council England to work with individuals, groups, educational establishments and community organisations in order to assist them in accessing and experiencing our art and history collections. We recognise the importance of strong relationships with groups and individuals and are always keen to forge new links to ensure we make the most of Swindon’s heritage.

Postcard for Swindon, July 2015



In 2015, Laurence Dube-Rushby, a Salisbury-based artist, undertook a community art project, funded through Arts Council England, which engaged with the people of Swindon to capture memories, life stories and backgrounds.  As a result, Laurence created six ‘Postcards for Swindon’.

You can hear Laurence talking to some of the people she met by visiting her YouTube page.


Swindon Foyer Project, April 2015

Foyer Project


Swindon Foyer is a 57 flat facility run by Stonewater Housing Association for 16-25 year olds. As one of their neighbours, in 2015 we worked with residents to create a mural within the communal garden. It was designed and painted by residents, with the assistance of an artist, and used the art and history collections as inspiration.

Pop-Up Museum, October 2014

Projects Pop up Museum


In 2014, we staged an exhibition entitled ‘Swindon Town Centre : Past, Present and Future’ exploring the rapid changes to the heart of Swindon. The three-day event was produced in partnership with Broadgreen and Queenstown History Group, The Swindon Society, Swindon Viewpoint, Wilts & Berks Canal Trust, Swindon Libraries, and the Museum of Computing. Swindon’s Artsite group held a Big Draw event as part of the Family Arts Festival, encouraging younger visitors to draw their own versions of famous Swindon places and faces.