27 Apr 2018

Collecting Birmingham: Mrs Eunice McGhie-Belgrave MBE

I am Paramjit Sehmi and I have been volunteering for Collecting Birmingham archiving and documenting some amazing acquisitions. Indeed, The Collecting Birmingham project has acquired some precious gems which I'm lucky to have had the pleasure of exploring.

One such example is the truly fascinating collection of objects donated by Mrs Eunice McGhie-Belgrave MBE. The overall aim of the Collecting Birmingham project is to highlight the significance of people, and the stories of their lives in Birmingham and Eunice’s story certainly fits this brief. Read More...

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23 Aug 2017

Collecting Paradise: Memories of Birmingham Central Library

In June, Birmingham Museum’s Collecting Birmingham Team met in the lounge of the Wellington Pub to collect memories of Birmingham city centre’s now demolished Paradise Forum complex, including the iconic Central Library.

The event was publicised through social media and by specifically contacting those with a particular interest in the building. Part of the evening involved reflection on memories of the library, as well as asking attendees’ opinions on two objects from the library that the museum was looking to acquire. Read More...

28 Jun 2017

Donald Rodney Consultation

I have passed Donald Rodney’s work Land of Milk and Honey II many times on my visits to Birmingham Museum and felt incredibly proud to have an artist from the city I grew up and a black artist exhibit in a world class museum. Upon hearing about the possible acquisition of another piece of Rodney’s work, I knew I wanted to attend and have a say about what is in our museums, to see the many different facets of my city represented in our museum. And so I was incredibly excited to be invited to attend a consultation and also to observe the other people attending the consultation. Would they be the usual museum workers and museums goers? 

To my absolute joy when I arrived at Birmingham Museum the group of people attending the consultation was a diverse group of individuals consisting of the usual white, middle class museum types and also people who represent the masses of people who rarely set foot in a museum, which made me happier than you can imagine. In fact my mum attended and made a really interesting observation, she (white, middle class) commented that she was in a minority and how strange it felt because she is not in a minority often particularly in this setting, which is interesting, as this is often how I feel as a mixed race person. If museums are going to truly represent the communities in which they reside, it is important to represent the community within the museum, seeing predominately white male art and history is not representative of other equally important histories. And this is what Collecting Birmingham will be addresses through community consultation and understanding what Brummies want in their museum.  Read More...

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9 May 2016

Stories that should be shared

My name is Charlotte; I work as a Community Engagement Officer on the Collecting Birmingham Project. Since joining the team I’ve been out and about speaking to lots of people about their Birmingham stories. 

It’s been an absolute pleasure, discussing what it was really like growing up, living and working in Birmingham. I’ve learnt about playing on the ‘bomb peck’, about Sikh worker’s campaign for the right to wear the turban, and made the shocking realisation that my own memories of hanging out in Paradise Forum as a teenager are all part of our city’s history. Read More...

13 Jan 2016

Collecting Birmingham: Soho

Hi everyone! My name is Courtney and I'm the Soho Ambassador for the Collecting Birmingham project. For me, being able to research the area where my grandparents first moved to in the 50s and 60s as a volunteer is really exciting and an opportunity to not only discover more about Birmingham alongside the community but to also find out more about my own heritage. So far I've found out a few interesting facts about Soho and in particular Soho Road, which is the current focus of the Soho part of the project.


14 Dec 2015

Collecting Birmingham: Aston

Hi everyone my name is Manahil and I’m a volunteer working on the Collecting Birmingham project. As an Ambassador for the ward of Aston I thought it was about time that I shared some facts with you about the ward! Aston has been an area I have been familiar with for the last 18 years, so it seems only fitting for me to tell you a little bit about it. 

I personally find the ward such a culturally rich area with plenty of histories and stories to be revealed. From my research, it is interesting to note that Aston was once part of a parish in Warwickshire. In 1838 while Duddeston and Nechells and Deritend and Bordesley were included in the borough of Birmingham, the area known as Aston Manor stayed outside of the city. From 1869 Aston Manor was governed by Aston Manor Local Board. It became an Urban District in 1903 and was absorbed into Birmingham in 1911.  Read More...

9 Nov 2015

Can You Help? Share Your Stories…

In a blog post in September, we invited Birmingham people to come and have their say about the objects Birmingham Museums should be collecting. 

As a result, we have been working with two wonderful groups of people who have met monthly to talk about Birmingham stories and share ideas, memories and reflect on the incredible city we live in. Read More...

12 Oct 2015

Meet our Collecting Birmingham Ambassadors

As the Collecting Birmingham project builds momentum we are delighted to be able to introduce four new members of our volunteer team; our Collecting Birmingham Ambassadors!

For the next year each of the four wards of Aston, Ladywood, Nechells and Soho will have an Ambassador who will help spread the word about the Collecting Birmingham project, assist with our exciting events, help out with social media and be out and about in the wards. Keep your eyes peeled because you will be sure to meet one of them very soon!  Read More...

4 Sep 2015

Collecting Birmingham: Have Your Say!

In a blog post last month we introduced Birmingham Museums’ Collecting Birmingham project  and today we would love to invite you to take part!

This month we were very excited to launch our first sets of focus groups for the project which will see groups of community members meeting together to share stories of Birmingham, look at historical themes and ideas and ultimately help Birmingham Museums choose objects to collect (all over a cup of tea and a slice of cake).  Read More...

7 Aug 2015

Introducing Collecting Birmingham

Birmingham Museums recently launched an exciting new project: Collecting Birmingham. But what is it all about?

In short, the three year project will enable the people of Birmingham to take an active role in developing a collection of museum objects that tell stories of growing up, living and working in Birmingham. Read More...