The last week of my placement, I visited museums around Bath. Through these experiences, I had a better understanding of how museums are managed in UK. And the top three illuminating things I learned at the Roman Baths are that their priorities are visitors’ interests, learning projects, and the interpretation of the museum:
First of all, the museum focuses a lot on the public. The principle here is the museum belongs to everybody. At the Baths there is a meeting every Monday morning to discuss details of the museum for the past week and coming week. It is said that these details are the most important thing to ensure a better experience for visitors. The managers read feedback from visitors and resolve any problems immediately. This is what we would like to change in China. We used to impose our interests on the public, giving them exhibitions according to our interests. Now we try to put our focus on people rather than objects.
|A Major Davis Tour at the Roman Baths|
Second, the learning activities are fantastic. They provide various workshops for children from under 5 to adults. People enjoy getting involved in the museum and the museum gives them a better life. They also provide workshops for disabled people and for people who have lost their jobs, helping them to get back into society. This inspired me to think what we should do in our museum, what we can provide to the public. Without consideration of audiences, the vitality of a museum could be lost.
Third and the most significant thing I learned here, is how to interpret the museum. They use a range of interpretation techniques, such as panels (text and graphics); audio guides; human guides; reconstructions; interactives; scale models and so on. These are aimed to complement each other and provide access to the visitors. This is what we need to introduce all aspects of museums to more people.
|The Roman Baths Children's interpretation manual.|
It is so important for a museum to have its own personality and to be accessible for everybody. Although there is a different situation and policy in China, we could not just apply the same or similar management to our museum, but it is significant to see it in different ways. It brings inspirations and lights my mind, we could have some positive social, cultural, educational and economic changes according to the reality of Chinese museum.
At last, I must express my thanks to everybody I met here. Everyone is so kind and generous to share, giving me very good memories of the three weeks. Thanks to you all and I will miss this fabulous autumn in Bath.