Title of the project: Open Depository
Partner of the project: The Narvik War and Peace Centre, Norway
Aim of the project: Establishment of an open collection storage that changes the way in which collection items are made available to museum visitors
Project description: The “Open Depository” project is unique in its idea, construction and technological design. There are not many similar projects in Europe where museums open their collection stores for the general public, let alone in the Slovak Republic. The Museum of the Slovak National Uprising’s collection fund consists of 16,776 appropriately registered collection items of significant value for the Slovak nation. These items have been expertly processed and stored as neatly as possible according to the collections’ structure in numerous depositories. The storage unit was created in several stages and consists mainly of office cabinets, storage racks and wooden rifle stands. However, such storage no longer meets the real requirements for protection and care of collection objects of unique value according to the law. Damaging the items can lead to the loss of the informative value of the objects.
One of the current questions modern museology seeks to address is the issue of collections’ protection versus accessibility. Only a small number of the collection items in the Museum of the Slovak National Uprising are being made available to the public in exhibitions. The majority of tangible historical artefacts are stored in the protective stores inaccessible by the general public.
For a long time, Museum of the Slovak National Uprising has sought to bring new perspectives on the management and stewardship of museum collections as well as to use the newest technologies for the collections’ presentation to the public. The optimal solution for this issue is building an Open Depository which will vacate the space in the protective collection store, and thus significantly improve the care for the museum’s collections. The collection items in the Open Depository will be given a 2D code. Loading the code on a mobile app will allow the visitor to learn more information and interesting details about a particular item and the story behind it.
Apart from the creation of the Open Depository, the project will include education through collection items. Such approach of experiential teaching in general increases interest in history and allows to focus on specific areas of the national and world history of the 20th century. Educators in this project focus on the forms of the present-day extremism, racism and social intolerance in the field of human rights and liberties. The target group for education will be primary, secondary and high school students, and teachers from the city of Banská Bystrica and beyond.
An equally important part of the project is the co-operation with the Norwegian partner – The Narvik War and Peace Centre. A three-day-long Professional museological seminar will be co-organised at the end of which the professional participants will take part in storing the collection items in the newly built depository. As an outcome of the seminar, an electronic collection will be created (for the sake of the protection of the environment and minimalisation of paper waste) for the needs of the professional public in two languages (Slovak and English). Three professional workshops will be organised on the topic of active and passive protection of collections and education through museum objects. At the same time, each of the partners will be able to experience the exchange of the best experiences through internships in Slovakia and Norway. Resulting from the active co-operation will also be the creation of Feasibility Study for the Norwegian partner in order to create a similar Open Depository in their premises. The co-operation with the partner will continue even after the project will have finished mainly via the website that will summarise the project’s outcomes, the collection items of both museums made available, professional blogs about the stewardship and protection of collections as well as section dedicated to the general public.
The museum will offer new types of services to the public (professional guide through the Open Depository, offering a copy of the “Insurgent Newspaper” to the public, etc.).
Grant amount: 999,357.00 EUR
Length of the project implementation: 37 months
To learn more about programmes and projects funded by EEA Grants in Slovakia, visit www.eeagrants.sk