The Roman Baths

What a truly amazing experience at the Roman Baths. I arrived nice and early and found myself to be the only person in line. Not only this, but, when I went to the free tour meeting spot an hour later it was just me and a lovely couple from London. So I essentially got a free private tour and could ask as many annoying questions as possible. It really does pay to wake up early! This blog entry will cover the museum, the main bath itself, the audio guide, and the guided tour. I’ve never experienced so many forms of interpretation in one place so it was definitely an interesting morning.

To get to the lower level of the bath you must walk through a museum. As well as panels and object labels, you could also listen to an audio guide. I did find myself only listening to the guide for the more impressive objects and relying on panels for the others. The museum covered life in Roman Bath from funerary practices to symbols in the temple and everything in between. There was also a section where you could walk above the ruins of the city. Highlight objects for me were the Roman Curse Tablets that have been inscribed on the Memory of the World UK UNESCO Register in 2014. If someone, for example, stole your blanket whilst you were bathing, you could write a curse on a piece of lead, give it to a priest to bless, and throw it in the water. If it floated, the curse would be projected back on to you. Some of the curses on display included one to whoever stole a cape and one suggesting possible culprits to help the Gods find the wrongdoer.Read More »

Fashion Museum – Bath

This museum has been at the top of my “must visit” list for years. For those of you who don’t know, I have been volunteering both directly and indirectly with the Australian Dress Register since 2014. This work has really sparked my interest in textile collections from both a collection management and conservation perspective. I believe that every textile can tell a fascinating story reflecting a time period, personality, society, or all of the above. I had planned on visiting the museum tomorrow but I was so excited I went there as soon as I got off the train. The exhibition I saw was: A History of Fashion in 100 Objects. There is a small entrance fee, but, trust me, the exhibition is worth every cent. Included in the ticket price is an audio guide that can be used throughout the entire museum.Read More »

British Library

I am currently en route to Bath in a quiet carriage that is anything but quiet. Although the programme doesn’t start until tomorrow night, I wanted a couple of days in Bath to relax beforehand and visit some more museums. Since I have some spare time I thought I’d write a little blog post on the British Library. I visited the library post-Museum of London with the intention of seeing a Punk Music exhibition. It was interesting, but, I really want to write about the Sir John Rittblat Gallery: Treasures of the British Library.

I have to admit I only went into the gallery because I could feel how amazing the air conditioning was inside. It was a hot day so don’t judge. Anyway, I was very glad, well extremely glad, to have walked in because the gallery contains some of the most incredible paper-based objects I have ever seen. If you like music, history, sacred texts, maps, or beautiful art then there is guaranteed to be something in the gallery that gives you goosebumps.Read More »

Museum of London

I have to say, above all else, the Museum of London had some amazing staff on the floor today! First thing I did when I arrived was go to the information counter to buy a map. The staff member there was so helpful and friendly and told me all about the free tours that were happening throughout the day. Since I am still a bit jet lagged, I thought going on a tour was a smart move! I am going to divide this post into three sections – an overview of the museum, the tour of the City Gallery, and highlights from the rest of the museum.

The museum consists of nine permanent galleries that trace the history of London from prehistoric times to 2012. Combined, they tell an overall narrative with each individual gallery adding its own stories. The top level deals with prehistory to roughly the 1660s. There is little opportunity to choose your own path with each section leading on to the next. In saying this, having to walk through a couple of galleries that I didn’t plan on spending too much time in (prehistory and Roman) meant I saw some amazing objects. The recreated Roman dressing table with make up tools in particular was amazing and I am so glad I saw it! The ground floor has the more modern-era exhibitions and, unlike the top floor, there is a little more freedom to walk around. Obviously there was a lot of information to consume during one visit, but, I did the best I could!Read More »