The British Museum’s plans for a new storage and research facility in Shinfield to go on display31 May 2018
- The British Museum and the University of Reading are holding a public consultation on their plans to build a new storage and research facility in Shinfield;
- The facility will store part of the British Museum's world-famous collection;
- The new facility will bring a range of benefits to the community, through community outreach and co-designed schools programmes;
- A public consultation event will be held at the Thames Valley Science Park on Tuesday 12 June between 4pm - 8pm.
Last year the British Museum announced a major partnership with the University of Reading to develop the ‘British Museum Archaeological Research Collection' (BM_ARC). The facility will rehouse part of the British Museum's research collection, including ancient sculptures, mosaics, archaeological assemblages and historic casts. Much of the collection will be moved from Blythe House in London, which is due to close in 2023. With a focus on global research, the facility and associated study space will give researchers, academics, students and members of the public access by appointment to a unique research collection.
The Museum will be working with local schools, groups and organisations via its community outreach programmes to allow greater access to objects from its collection and enrich the partnership with the University of Reading. Access to the facility will be carefully managed and supervised, rather than open access, in order to maintain the security and consistent environmental conditions necessary for the long-term preservation of this important collection.
An application to develop the site, adjacent to the Thames Valley Science Park in Shinfield, will be made later this year and as part of this the British Museum and the University of Reading are inviting local residents to attend a drop in session on their plans. The event will be held at the new Thames Valley Science Park Gateway Building on Tuesday 12 June between 4pm - 8pm.
Experts from the British Museum will be on hand at the event to answer any questions local residents may have. Some objects from the collection will also be on display. The event will also be a chance for residents to view the progress being made by the University of Reading on the Thames Valley Science Park.
Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum, said: "This is a hugely exciting project for the British Museum and will be a cornerstone of the Museum's masterplan. We would want to become a real part of the local community and share our rich research collection with a range of community groups and organisations through our outreach programmes. The facility will ensure more access to the collection for study and loans, fulfilling two of the central purposes of the British Museum."
Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said: "The University of Reading is already an important research partner of the British Museum and so we look forward to expanding our relationship through this new facility. It will give our students and staff access to hugely important historical artefacts, allowing all of us to expand our wider knowledge of human history."