The South West Museums Federation Conference 2019

This summer the history department hosted the South West Museums Federation conference from 4-5 July

This provided a great opportunity for history undergraduate and postgraduate students, who were eligible for free tickets, to attend and network with a range of leading museums and heritage sites in the region. Across two days students considering a future in museums and heritage sites were able to attend talks and workshops with leading professionals, make great contacts and arrange work placements.

As part of the conference University of Plymouth historians spoke about ‘engaging audiences at Powderham Castle’. Dan Maudlin, Diana Walters and Alan Butler presented a session on how a partnership between the University of Plymouth, University of Pennsylvania and the Earl of Devon at Powderham Castle, has informed interpretation and engagement for new audiences at the Castle. The research investigated the visual, material and spatial history of the castle through the eighteenth century. The workshop examined how research into the experiences of the 18th Century third Viscount as an “outed” gay man can effect an interpretation that speaks to a modern LGBT+ audience. Participants in the workshop also learned how a new sensory garden, which will also benefit wider audiences, was developed through co-production with disabled people.