Case Studies

Tackling inequalities – Powell-Cotton Museum

Powell-Cotton Museum is undertaking an ambitious programme of projects, ‘Re-imagining the Museum.’ Inbal Livne, Head of Collections and Engagement, tells us what they’ve learnt so far and the lessons they can share with other AIM members looking to reinterpret their collections and work with communities and groups in new ways. 

AIM training grant – Museum of Bath Stone

Attending GEM’s Heritage Interpretation Online course has transformed our approach to interpretation. It has changed the way in which I would naturally approach the creation of new interpretation and changed my perception of this being an academic practice to more of an art form.

AIM Pilgrim Trust collections care audit – The Bahamas Locomotive Society

The AIM Pilgrim Trust collections care audit offered the ideal opportunity to seek an evaluation of our current methods of collection care and the success of our application enabled Peter Meehan ACR to visit the museum and provide a report.

AIM Pilgrim Trust collections care grant – The Devil’s Porridge Museum

The object store was completely re-organised and a systematic approach to accessioning was developed, with young volunteers involved at every stage of the project.

AIM Pilgrim Trust collections care grant – The Pen Museum

The AIM grant provided crucial support by enabling the museum to improve both the storage of its collection and environmental monitoring capabilities.

Sudbury Hall – Developing the Children’s Country House

How do you go about delivering transformational change during a pandemic? AIM spoke to Nikki Kirby, General Manager of Sudbury Hall in Derbyshire, about their project to develop the Children’s Country House.

Governance – Nidderdale Museum

Nidderdale Museum used support from AIM’s Prospering Boards programme to begin the transfer to a CIO. Sue Welch, Chair of Nidderdale Museum, tells us how this process is going and shares what they’ve learnt so far. 

Governance – Old Bell Museum

Montgomery Civic Society, who are responsible for the Old Bell Museum, applied to Prospering Boards to undertake a full governance review. We spoke to David Thomas, trustee, about the recommendations and actions that have resulted from this review.

Governance – Amberley Museum

Amberley Museum worked with their Prospering Boards consultant on a strategic plan. Valerie Mills, Director of Amberley, talks us through the process and how the plan has been put into action. 

Shared Stories, Shared Voices at The Foundling Museum

Closed, locked down. Collection, locked in. Two of the toughest problems for the Foundling Museum to overcome, following national closures in March 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In response, Shared Stories, Shared Voices has created an innovative new digital experience that democratises the interpretation of museum collections and enables diverse voices to shape and narrate the Museum’s historic stories.

AIM Pilgrim Trust – Historic Croydon Airport Trust

The grant has enabled the Trust to implement guidance issued as part of an earlier AIM Pilgrim Trust Collections Care Audit and preserve their priceless and irreplaceable ‘crown jewel’ pieces for future generations.

AIM Pilgrim Trust – The Egypt Centre

In 2019 it was determined that several objects in the Provisions for the Dead case were in urgent need of conservation in order to ensure their preservation and to better display them to the public. The case is one of the museum’s most popular exhibits, with the “food and provisions” activity featuring heavily in its educational programme.

AIM Pilgrim Trust – Ely Museum

The Ely Sedan Chair has been on public display for many years and has suffered some wear and tear. It was identified as part of a conservation audit as in urgent need of treatment. This project aimed to conserve the sedan chair to ensure its future stability and to allow the museum to display it once again when the museum re-opens.

Reach wider audiences with Art Tickets

We spoke to AIM members, the Coffin Works, Birmingham and The Foundling Museum London about their experience of using Art Tickets, Art Fund’s free to use ticketing service.

Staying on top with Tik Tok at Black Country Living Museum

Black Country Living Museum’s approach to Tik Tok has been a roaring success, garnering over a half a million followers and attracting headlines and attention across the world. But how do you get started? And how do you best sustain interest in your digital innovation? We spoke to Abby Bird, BCLM’s Audiences and Communications Manager to find out more.

Governance – London Museum of Water & Steam

London Museum of Water & Steam took part in AIM’s Prospering Boards in 2019. Liz Power, Director at the museum, tells us their experience of the process, which has created a stronger and more effective Board.

Governance – Ilfracombe Museum

Ilfracombe Museum have made a simple change to their financial management, which has had a massive impact in terms of putting the museum firmly in control of their finances. Val Gates joined the Board of Trustees at the museum a year ago and here she tells us how she’s introduced a dynamic model to manage the museum cashflow. 

Tackling inequalities – Jewish Museum London

Since March 2020, London Jewish Museum have been undertaking a skills and diversity audit of the Board. This work is already paying off, transforming the museum’s strategy going forward. We spoke to Frances Jeens, Museum Director, to find out more.

Tackling inequalities – The Ashmolean Museum of Art & Archeology

The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology at the University of Oxford has harnessed passion amongst staff to put equality and diversity firmly on the Museum’s agenda. We spoke to Rachel Davies, Director of Operations and Emily Jarrett, Digital Communications Officer, to find out more.

AIM Hallmark grant – Markfield Beam Engine and Museum

This project has provided sound organisational structures, policies and systems to support the Trust’s aspirations for future development.

AIM Hallmark grant – St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery

The impact on our organisation is huge. It made us re-examination our aims, objectives and values; we interrogated our outreach and community ambitions and established a new fundraising strategy.

Pilgrim Trust Conservation Grant – The Devil’s Porridge Museum

The outcomes of the project are many: increased publicity and awareness of the Museum (needed more than ever due to the uncertainties caused by COVID-19), a fantastic new historical display, a significant historical object no longer languishing and deteriorating behind the scenes and an object which enables us to remind people that HM Factory Gretna was an Anglo-Scottish endeavour.

Pilgrim Trust Collections Care Grant – The Fusilier Museum London

The aim of the collection move project has been to relocate material into a new purpose designed store, but also improve the long-term care and preservation of the collection, to gain a better understanding of the material that has been collected, and improve the cataloguing.

Pilgrim Trust Conservation Grant – Armagh Robinson Library and No5 Vicar’s Hill

The AIM Pilgrim Trust grant will help enable public access to collection items that were previously not accessible due to their condition

Pilgrim Trust Collections Care Audit – Frenchay Village Museum

The audit has confirmed the museum’s need for closer attention to the conservative needs of certain objects, particularly paper.

Pilgrim Trust Conservation Grant – Tring and District Local History Museum

A 19th Century sketchbook has been cleaned and conserved so is now able to be handled, displayed and enjoyed without risk of being damaged in the process.

Not for profit café partnership at London Museum of Water & Steam

Making a café viable in a small museum can be a challenge, but London Museum of Water & Steam found a partnership solution that also helps young people with learning disabilities.

From going to giving – Art Happens offers crowdfunding expertise designed for the sector

Art Fund’s crowdfunding platform Art Happens is designed to give museums and audiences the power to bring exciting projects to life together, help engage existing supporters in new ways a…

Pilgrim Trust Conservation Grant – The Wiltshire Museum

Remedial conservation – Conservation of Correspondence to William Cunnington I, 1799-1810 AIM grant: £4,750 The Wiltshire Museum is governed by the Wiltshire Archaeological and …

Pilgrim Trust Conservation Grant – Little Hall Lavenham

The objective was to stop further damage to the books and ensure the Library at Little Hall was safe again for visitors and volunteers

Pilgrim Trust Conservation Grant – Elgin Museum

The aim of the grant was to engage a conservator to advise replacement of the old wooden racking with modern museum-standard racking and checking of the some 250 framed artworks.

Pilgrim Trust Conservation Audit – Andrew Logan Museum of Sculpture

The audit process and the final report has achieved more than we expected

Pilgrim Trust Conservation Grant – Lyme Regis Museum

Conservation has re-awakened enjoyment of an historic artwork of local and national interest for public display and geological science – and revealed period social detail.

Pilgrim Trust Conservation Grant – Nantwich Museum

The AIM grant enabled the museum to tackle two issues; the need to take steps to reduce light levels and secondly the need to gain a better picture and understanding of the environmental conditions in the galleries.

Pilgrim Trust Conservation Grant – Emsworth Museum

Conservation of an Edwardian wedding dress

Pilgrim Trust Conservation Grant – Royal Army Physical Training Corps Museum

The AIM grant covered the cost of the initial assessment and all subsequent treatment to a 1960’s-era pommel horse and vaulting buck

Pilgrim Trust Conservation Grant – Dundee Museum of Transport

The grant from AIM funded the purchase of dehumidifiers and packing materials, as part of a wider programme to relocate the collection to an off-site store.

AIM Hallmarks – Heckington Windmill Trust

Heckington Windmill Trust in Sleaford, Lincolnshire received £5,000 as an AIM Hallmarks Small Grant Scheme to undertake a shop and retail review…

AIM Hallmarks in Wales – Cynon Valley Museum Trust

Cynon Valley Museum Trust Securing our Trajectory Grant received: £5,986.57 “Securing Our Trajectory” funded by AIM Hallmarks in Wales brought immediate impact and has outli…

History Makers – A Light in the Darkness

AIM Biffa Award History Makers National Coal Mining Museum for England – A Light in the Darkness Grant received: £81,987.62 What is your project about? …

History Makers – Annie Besant and Jayaben Desai: History Makers on Strike

AIM Biffa Award History Makers Annie Besant & Jayaben Desai: History Makers on Strike – People’s History Museum What is your project about? PHM…

History Makers – Cromwell Uncovered

AIM Biffa Award History Makers The Cromwell Museum – Cromwell Uncovered Grant received: £85,530 What is your project about? The project was to re…

Andrew Logan Museum of Sculpture

AIM Hallmarks in Wales £6000 – ALMoS Strategic Development, Communications The Andrew Logan Museum of Sculpture (ALMoS), established 1991 in Berrie…

Art Happens crowdfunding

Art Happens is crowdfunding with a difference. Designed specifically for museums and galleries, it gives museums the power to create and manage innovative fundraising campaigns, with Art Fund suppo…

A virtual tour of Medway Queen

With neither a large budget or technical facilities, Medway Queen sought to develop a basic virtual tour that could be implemented by a  volunteer. Richard Halton, Medway Queen Preservatio…

Pilgrim Trust Conservation Grant – Holst Birthplace Museum

Addressing and resourcing collections care at the Holst Birthplace Museum   The Holst Birthplace Museum shows what life was like for the composer Gustav Ho…

Pilgrim Trust Collections Care Audit – Herchel Museum of Astronomy

The Herschel Museum of Astronomy opened in 1981 and was taken over by Bath Preservation Trust in 2017. There is an administrator for the property and curatorial staff from Bath Preservation Trust a…

Pilgrim Trust Conservation Grant – Jane Austen’s House

Jane Austen’s House is an independent museum sited in the house where Jane Austen lived from 1809 until just before her death in 1817. An accredited Museum and registered charity, the Museum pres…

Pilgrim Trust Collections Care Audit – Malton Museum

Malton Museum’s main collections come from excavations that took place between 1925 and 1970.  The Museum also holds archaeological material from subsequent, smaller excavations. These collectio…

Pilgrim Trust Conservation Grant – Conserving Cromwell

The Cromwell Museum tells the story of the life and times of the soldier and statesman Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) through the best collection of items relating to him. Founded in 1962 we are an in…

Incredible impact – Turner in Bridport

Emily Hicks, Director, Bridport Museum Trust explains the impact one amazing painting can have. In Summer 2019 Bridport Museum borrowed a J.M.W. Turner watercolour of Bridport Harbour, its a…

Understanding your audiences – Narrow Guage Railway Museum

Audience analysis doesn’t have to be expensive or overly complex. We spoke to Malcolm Phillips, Collections Manager at the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum about how they went about improving th…

AIM Hallmarks – The Gurkha Museum Trust

Gurkha Museum Brand Evolution The Gurkha Museum ensures the future of Gurkha Heritage by celebrating, honouring and promoting the history and culture of …

Developing new income streams – Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

Tiverton Museum is a much-loved museum providing extensive displays on local history within the Mid Devon area, a schools’ programme and reminiscence service. The AIM Hallmark project buil…

AIM Hallmarks – Rochdale Pioneers Museum

‘Earning through Learning’ Creating a higher space for the learning loft The Co-operative Heritage Trust (CHT) runs the Museum on the site where 28 w…

Seven Stories: Leadership and Culture

In 2015, Seven Stories successfully revamped its building in a major capital project

Port Sunlight Museum: Awareness and Networks

Port Sunlight Museum is building new relationships with neighbouring attractions to boost its offer to groups

The Royal West of England Academy: Innovation

The Royal West of England Academy was funded by an AIM Hallmarks Award to develop a new corporate training offer

The Roald Dahl Museum

Risk management sounds dry and the consideration of risk at board meetings can easily become a cursory, tick-box exercise with a focus on operational issues

The Canal and River Trust

Using The AIM Hallmarks in organisational planning

Brantwood, John Ruskin’s House: Collections

Brantwood, John Ruskin’s House in Coniston, received a Hallmarks Award to help the museum tell new stories about their collection

Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft: Finance

Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft is using a Hallmark grant to investigate new business models to put it on a sustainable footing for the future

Calderdale Industrial Museum: Governance

Under the Hallmarks Prospering Boards programme, the museum has been able to work with a consultant to review their governance, help them organise more effectively as a body, identify their skills gaps and refine their vision for the organisation

Firing Line Museum of the Welsh Soldier: Visitor Focus

Supported by a Hallmarks Award, Firing Line Museum of the Welsh Soldier undertook research to enable them to understand their visitors and non-visitors better, and to explore ways of building new audiences

Gilbert White’s House and the Oates Collections: Purpose

Gilbert White’s House and the Oates Collections have been supported by the AIM Prospering Boards programme to help them refine the existing vision for the site and devise a more streamlined strategy, based on a clear organisational purpose

Awareness and Networks: Marilyn Scott, Director, The Lightbox

There can’t be many organisations that actively encourage their employees to pop to the shops during working hours for research purposes, but it’s an important part of The Lightbox approach to staying contemporary and relevant

Innovation: no need for a revolution

Too often, innovation is seen as synonymous with risk and upheaval but it can also be achieved through incremental change and by working within a museum’s existing zone of activity

Governance Profile: Roger Cooke

Good chairmanship and good governance is an on-going process, so AIM sat down with Roger Cooke, chair of the Tullie House Museum board to discover what their governance journey has been like

Evaluating the Evidence The Impact of Charging or Not for Admissions on Museums

In September 2016, AIM published new research to help museums understand the impact of charging for admission, or not, on all aspects of operating a successful museum

Reimagining the Visitor Experience with Museum Hack

If you keep an eye on what’s happening in the USA Museum sector, you will have noticed Museum Hack. This …

AIM Hallmarks Case Study – Purpose

A case study on organisational propose by Michael Day, Chief Executive, Historic Royal Palaces and AIM Vice President …