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Curious Collections to fire the imagination at the Tower Museum

08 February 2018

Let your mind wonder at the Tower Museum this month with the launch of the Curious Collections exhibition, aimed at fans of all things weird and wonderful.

The exhibition opens on February 16th showcasing a selection of some more eccentric objects from the museum’s collections. The odd curiosities included in this exhibition break from the traditionally themed collections and provide an opportunity to view some of the unusual items that hold clues to the past.

The exhibition is taking place as part of the N. Ireland Science Festival, and a number of events are planned over the coming months including workshops, talks and even a slime making lab.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, encouraged people to take the opportunity to explore the unknown. “This is a fantastic exhibition and programme of events allowing visitors to discover some of the extraordinary wonders of nature, achievements of science and the incredible cultural heritage of communities around the globe.

“It’s a great opportunity to get children interested in finding out more about innovation and scientific invention and how curiosity can lead to some of the most ground breaking discoveries.”

Curator at the Museum, Roisin Doherty, said the eclectic collection will appeal to anyone with an interest in the unusual. “This exhibition illustrates what it means to be a museum service - caring for our collections and creating access for the public,” she explained. 

“Selecting some of the most unusual items from the museum stores was certainly a challenge. We had a hard task choosing which items would make the shortlist. In the Anatomy display you will find a medical handsaw, from the New World there’s a snake in a bottle and under Science & Investigation, come and have a look at our Mickey Mouse Gas Mask or consider the working of Railway Pressure Gauges.

“We are delighted to be working with the NI Science Festival, presenting some exciting opportunities for the public, schools and young people to get hands-on with some of the more fascinating items from the collection. Themes for the young science boffins to investigate include anatomy and climate change.”

The Curious Collections exhibition is open to the public from Friday 16th February and everyone is welcome to drop in during museum opening hours.

If your little scientists prefer more hands on activities then why not join in the Slime Workshop on Saturday Feb 17th, when the Tower Museum transforms into a sticky slime making lab from 11am – 12noon. This is a family friendly event suitable for ages 4+.

A series of support events will also be taking place based on the Curious Collections, starting on March 22 with a series of handling workshops for specific audiences, including the blind and partially sighted, autism friendly and dementia friendly. Suitable for ages 8+. If you would like to know more, please do not hesitate to contact the museum.

On April 19th at 7pm Curator of Ulster Museum’s Elements exhibition, Dr Mike Simms, will be looking more closely at examples of some of the unusual items in the museum with a special talk called Collecting the Curious.

Finally on May 24 at 7pm Robert Corbett will use some rarely seen images and artefacts for a special talk outlining the story of Lifeboats around the Ulster Coast, particularly Lough Foyle.

Spaces are limited for all these events and it is essential that you book in advance. For places please contact [email protected] or phone 028 71372411 to RSVP.

Teachers should note that they can also get in touch with the Tower Museum regarding education packs for schools as well as KS2 and KS3 workshops and tours.