Science & Music Collecting Project

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Forte Piano? Casio VL-Tone? Electronium? Stratocaster? Revox?

What musical objects might be added to the Science Museum’s collections? Are you up for a participatory investigation?

The Science Museum is looking for people who know about and are passionate about music, musical instruments and the technologies of music to collaboratively develop ideas for the museum’s collections. Decisions about what to collect have traditionally been taken by curators, making judgments about the importance and significance of objects and whether they can tell a good story. In this collaborative collecting project, we want to experiment with broadening-out the kinds of expertise, ways of knowing, cultures, sub-cultures, memories and experiences which inform the Science Museum’s collecting decisions.

Between January and May 2014, ten of us will work together to get to know the existing collections and procedures and then to conduct research and make a series of recommendations for items that might be added to enhance the music collections. The project will work on two levels – there is the task at hand of developing these recommendations. Alongside this we will contribute towards a wider research project ‘How should decisions about heritage be made?’ by asking: What makes a good and legitimate decision in terms of museum collection? Who should be involved? How might different claims, expertise and contributions to museums be democratically enabled?

We’re hoping to collaborate with people with a wide range of motivations, interests, experiences and knowledge so we’d like you to write 300-500 words offering one of the following:

An object you think might be added to the Science Museum collections and why.
A story of your involvement in the music or music technology scene – what insights might this offer
Your response to the question ‘what would a democratic museum look like?’

Applicants will need to be able to attend five, monthly, meetings in London. Reasonable travel expenses will be covered.

Closing date: Tuesday 17 December at midnight

Send to:

The ‘How should decisions about heritage be made?’ project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and coordinated by the Centre for Critical Studies in Museums, Galleries and Heritage at the University of Leeds.

For further information about the project see:

Arts & Humanities Research Council