Street Museum was an innovative project, working together with Durham University to connect the former mining village Blackhall with thousands of years of history via the university’s collection. 

As we emerged from lockdown in 2020 East Durham Creates joined forces with Durham University for a project called Street Gallery. The project took place in Dawdon and encouraged local people to curate their own exhibition and turn the windows of their homes into an art gallery that could be viewed from the street and included artwork by local artists and from the University’s collections.

Following the success of this project and the positive feedback from the local community, we worked with Durham University again on a similar project bringing the University’s Museum’s collections to the streets of Blackhall.

The Street Museum exhibition took place from Tuesday 19th  to Sunday 24th April. During this week, scattered around Blackhall you could see 3D printed objects – selected by Blackhall Curators from Durham University’s Collections on display in the windows of homes and shops in the village.

You can view all the artefacts here

We ran two Digitale Creative Lab sessions with young people 14-23 years old in the run-up to our Street Museum Exhibition at Blackhall Community Centre, during which the young people involved created fantastic graphics and videos to help us to promote the Street Museum exhibition. Learn more about these sessions, and see what the young people involved created, here.

Those taking part in the Street Museum exhibition used a treasure map (see map below) to follow the Street Museum route to find 3D printed objects on display in windows around Blackhall.

All of these objects were chosen by Blackhall curators Val Owens, Jen Linford, Barbara Old, Alison Paterson, Carol Close, Jacob, Thomas Old who worked with Durham University to choose artefacts to represent the village and its residents. Lots of Blackhall residents gave us ideas and feedback about the type of historical periods and objects they would like to see at our Hands on History day, History Hunt and Go and See days – thank you for your help!

Check out some of the events that were included in the Street Museum project below:

Hands on History Day

History Hunt

Lantern Making Workshop

Alison Paterson, Manager of Blackhall Community Centre: “This project is all about connecting our community with the culture that’s out there in the wider county and having them shape it and experience it in a way that is really relevant to them! ”