We’re looking for parents of young children to help shed new light on old objects at York Castle Museum. The objects all relate to maternity and parenthood. Some of them will be familiar, but some might seem bizarre.
You don’t need to know anything about history – we’re interested in your opinions as parents of very young children. Because museum text is written by curators, we can miss things that you might notice. We need your lived experience to help us learn more about our objects.
What do we want?
· We would like you to create a personal response for one or more of these objects, adding real stories and points of view from people today.
· We want you to tell us what you think and feel about these objects, how you think people might have used them, and how they relate (or don’t relate!) to your experiences as parents today.
How will these be used?
· These will be used in our museum catalogue, which is available to the public.
· They might also be used in future exhibitions. You can choose whether you would like your name attached to your contribution or if you would like to be anonymous.
What will happen?
· There will be three workshops from 10am until 12noon at York Castle Museum on April 9th, 16th and 23rd (all Thursdays). We would like you to be able to come to all three workshops, but we understand this might not be possible.
· Babies and children are very welcome at these workshops, and there will be plenty of staff and volunteers on hand to help keep them entertained.
· Staff and volunteers will listen to what you have to say and might take notes.
· We will introduce you to some historic maternity objects, and you’ll have time to get to know the objects. Each workshop will focus on a different set of objects. Some of the objects will be things you can touch and hold, while some will be too delicate for handling.
· After we’ve seen the objects, we will have time for tea and coffee in small groups while we use Ketso to generate ideas and organise thoughts.
· We will be on hand to answer any questions, and help you to create your personal response. It is very important to us that these are in your words, not ours!
· In the final part of the session, you will have the chance to share the descriptions and your thoughts with everyone if you would like to.
Do you or the children coming with you have any food allergies or intolerances?
Facilities and other information
We will provide tea and coffee (including decaff!), cold soft drinks, and snacks, comfy cushions and padded chairs. York Castle Museum is a breastfeeding-friendly space. You’re very welcome to bring older children too – we will have toys for them to play with.
The workshops are wheelchair and pushchair accessible.
We recognise that these discussions could bring up emotional, difficult, contentious or challenging subjects. You can leave at any point during the session, either to have a few moments alone or to stop being a part of it. After the end of the session there is the opportunity to stay in the room for a social chat, and to talk about anything that you would like to discuss.
Your entry to the museum on the days of the workshops will be free of charge. You’re welcome to explore the museum before and after the workshops.