Museum joins forces with town council to explore history of silver collection

Silver project volunteers, Janet Milne, left and Bob White, right, with The Green Howards Museum’s head of collections, Zoë Utley.

The Green Howards Museum in Richmond has joined forces with the local town council to explore the history of a unique silver collection.

There are 40 objects relating to the town’s civic history on permanent display at the museum belonging to Richmond Town Council.

Some of the pieces date back to the mid-1600s.

Volunteers from both organisations are working with the museum’s head of collections, Zoë Utley on the project which will:

  • explore the history and personal stories behind the silver on display
  • add to our factual knowledge of the items to be able to share with visitors
  • help us update our records
  • create new online content, giving greater access to key pieces of the collection

“In this, the 50th anniversary year of the museum’s move to its home in the heart of the town, and the 65th anniversary of the Green Howards regiment receiving the Freedom of Richmond, we wanted to work on a joint initiative which links both town and museum,” said Zoë.

“Over the course of the project, we’re going to delve deeper into the history of the pieces, discover why they were created, and understand more about the people who commissioned and made them.”

“It’s great to be working together to improve our knowledge of these pieces,” added Bob White, a town council volunteer working on the project.

“Some of them, such as the Corn Cup or the Robert Willance goblet are well- established features of Richmond’s history, whilst other items in the collection have a less well-known back story. I’m looking forward to helping research and re-interpret the display, and seeing how we can bring these silver stories to life with the digital exhibition content that’s being planned.”

Once the research and cataloguing has been completed, a new online exhibition will be created featuring dazzling images and showing selected pieces in rotation, along with more in-depth stories about the items themselves.

“Whilst physical display space for this shimmering collection is limited by the size of the case these wonderful pieces are displayed in, the online content we are going to create, using film and photography will give a new perspective and depth of information,” said Fiona Hall, the museum’s communications manager.

“Creating online content like this allows us to bring the history of the collection to new audiences, regardless of whether or not they are able to physically visit the museum to look at the objects in person.”

Current web-based content developed by the museum team includes an online uniform gallery, special exhibitions and an ever-expanding personal archive section.

The new online exhibition featuring the town silver will go live on the museum website in the spring.