2017 has been a busy year for us here at The Rifles Collection and we can’t believe 2018 is almost here! Lots of changes have been happening, but a lot have been ‘behind the scenes’ changes, so we thought we’d taken this opportunity to let our visitors know all about them.
The museum now has its own Trust, previously, it was under The Rifles Regimental Trust, now it is an independent Trust – The Rifles Museum Trust, charity number 1174293, chaired by Brig. (retd.) Jolyon Jackson.
The museum ran a paid internship for 6 weeks from May to June. This was part funded by the museum but administered and the rest of the funding paid for by Santander’s Internship Scheme for University students. Our Intern was Philip Lazenby, who came from Brunel University studying his MA in Military History and completed the museum’s Collection Audit.
This year has been a changing time for our volunteers. Out of our small team of dedicated volunteers, one now has a full time job with the Museum of Military Medicine as their Assistant Curator, one has full time work in the field of archaeology, one has left to go to Queen’s University, Belfast to study History in the hope of a museum career and the other has returned to the University of Reading to complete a Masters in Museum Studies for a future museum career. This left us with a lack of volunteers, but all for good reasons, meaning we had to run a recruitment drive in September and October. We have four new volunteers who have started this month. Our volunteers have given us 454 hours so far this year in work on the collection – documenting and accessioning items and working on the archives.
We have been working on our travelling exhibition; ‘I am a Rifleman’, which will be touring across the country in 2018 – please keep checking our website for dates and venues! We have also developed an education programme with Winchester’s Military Museums for STEAM national curriculum standard.
Additionally, we have submitted our first ever application for Museum Accreditation, a huge step and the accumulation of years of work for the museum, so fingers crossed!
Finally, we developed our temporary exhibition gallery and held our first ever temporary exhibition themed on ‘Austen’s Officers: Then and Now’, which is still running until mid-November. The photos below are from this temporary exhibition.
After such a hectic year, we can’t wait to see what 2018 brings for the museum!