International Museum Day: A visit behind the scenes

The Bloemfontein National Museum. PHOTO: PORTFOLIO COLLECTION

International Museum Day will be celebrated this coming Friday.
This day as been celebrated since 1977 on or around 18 May to raise awareness about the importance of museums to the development of society.

The theme for this year is hyper connectivity. This term was invented in 2001 to describe the varied forms of communication available in our digital society, such as face-to-face contact, email, instant messaging, telephone, social media and the internet.

This global network of connections is constantly growing and evolving to become more complex, diverse and integrated. Museums around the world are embracing this hyper connected platform, using it to communicate information outside of its traditional spaces. The Batho Oral History project of the National Museum is an example. Through technology, information that would be limited to face-to-face communication and tied to a specific site and time, becomes open and timeless.

The public is invited to a ‘Behind the Scenes’ visit to the National Museum. As a natural, and cultural history museum, the museum has expansive research and conservation collections of information, artefacts and specimens of which only a tiny selection is on display to the public.

On Friday, 18 May 2018, the departments of Arachnology, which consists of spiders and scorpions, Herpetology, consisting of snakes, lizards and History, which includes the Batho Oral History project, will give visitors a look at these various unseen treasures and activities.

Three ‘Behind the scenes’ tours will be held at 10:00, 12:00 and 14:00 respectively. Entry to the National Museum is free on the day, but booking is essential as only a limited number of people can be accommodated.

Bookings can be made with Diane or Pule at the National Museum, located at 36 Aliwal Street or phone 051-447-9609.