Resources for families with children on the autistic spectrum
Since 2014, we have been working with the Museum of Natural History to develop resources to help families with children on the autistic spectrum become independent visitors to the museum. There are two guides: About the Museum, which includes lots of descriptive information about the museum and displays, and Planning your Visit, which is a tool to prepare children for their visit and give them objects to look at for when they are here.
As part of a project to catalogue a large collection of amulets and charms at the Pitt Rivers Museum, a group from MIND at the Mill were given the chance to create their own personal responses to the collection.
The six-week project involved working with local artist, Emma Reynard, to produce their own amulets using a wide range of materials and techniques. The group was given behind-the-scenes access to the collection and the chance to talk to the researchers and conservators involved in the project.
The work produced by the group is now on display on the top floor of the Pitt Rivers Museum, alongside some examples of the charms that inspired their work. More information about the Small Blessings project can be found on the Small Blessings blog.
Heritage in Hospitals
The Heritage and Hospitals project built on existing relationships with a number of healthcare organisations. The University Museums were involved in an AHRC funded project led by UCL, which conducted research in to the effect of handling museum objects on hospital patients’ wellbeing.
The majority of our part of the research took place at the Oxford Centre for Enablement and involved having one-to-one sessions with patients. The patients were asked to complete mood questionnaires devised by researchers at UCL both before and after the session. These quantitative measures were then used to support evidence of a relationship between museum object handling and an increased sense of wellbeing.