'What's Upstairs'. Second Designation Challenge Fund project 2004 - 5

The Pitt Rivers Museum has secured funding of over £134,000 to make improvements that will benefit all its visitors.

The MLA Designation Challenge Fund has made an award of £134,081 for What’s Upstairs?: a project to improve interpretation and orientation for the galleries on the first and second floors of the Museum. Staff will use visitor comments to develop new resources to help people navigate more easily through the densely packed displays. At the same time, a team will work through all the displays on the first and second floor galleries to undertake essential inventory and cataloguing work. They will record information by working through the showcases and drawers object by object. By working full-time in the Museum, the team hope to complete the work in just 17 months.

The award for What’s Upstairs? follows on from the success of the DCF funded CourtProject, which focussed on the ground floor displays of the Museum. As well as fully cataloguing each object in the Court, the Court Project team developed user-friendly gallery maps and leaflets, case headers, display text, on-line resources and other forms of interpretation for the ground floor gallery of the Museum.

Director Michael O'Hanlon, said "We are delighted that our application to the MLA Designation Challenge Fund has been fully funded. This reflects the Museum's commitment to looking after our collections, while at the same time making the Pitt Rivers even more enjoyable a museum to explore for the full range of our visitors."

During the CourtProject the team worked their way through 32,400 objects and What’s Upstairs? aims to achieve similar exceptional targets. The information and resources generated will be added to the website before the end of the project.

More information about the Court Project 2002-2004
More information about the previous Designation Challange Fund computerization project
More information about the museums collections, including those in the Court