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This blog is a behind the scenes look at the Roman Baths in Bath. We hope you enjoy reading our stories about life surrounding the Roman Baths.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Connecting Collections - Lovely Jubilee!

This year the Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, and here at the Baths we also celebrated – not just with a long weekend, but also with a Jubilee-centric temporary display!

The display has a selection of various objects, some from the museum collection, and others on loan from the Bath Record Office and the Victoria Art Gallery. This is because our collection doesn’t have many items that are associated with Queen Elizabeth II, which did at first cause a small problem in creating an interesting display…

The official logo of the 2012 Diamond Jubilee, the winning design of a national competition, was created by 10-year-old Katherine Dewar
Fortunately, the Bath Record Office has plenty of eye catching material. We were able to borrow a number of items, including a folder of photographs from Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and the original Daily Mail 1952 Coronation Day Special newspaper, printed in golden ink! This actually became the centrepiece for the display, but there was so much other material that could have been used, most of which was glued into large leather-bound books from the Mayor’s Office, so couldn’t be removed. These included programmes, leaflets and invitations to events, all relating to jubilee or coronation celebrations held in Bath in years gone by. In order to include all of these items, I scanned them and created a digital collage that was printed onto the backboard of the display.

The Victoria Art Gallery have also kindly loaned us a mug, commemorating Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, and an ink on glass silhouette of George III, painted by Hamlet, who was local to Bath. These are interesting because they highlight the other significant jubilees of the monarchy – George III being the first to celebrate 50 years on the throne in 1809, and Queen Victoria having the first Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

The finished display case
From our own collection, I chose to display the Pump Room visitor book that was signed by Queen Elizabeth II, and a selection of medals and commemorative coinage that were made to celebrate various jubilees. These included George III and Queen Victoria, but also Bath Temperance Society and Pope Pius IX, Jubilee celebrations that had nothing to do with the monarchy! The newest acquisition in the collection was also purchased for this display, a 2012 Diamond Jubilee Commemorative £5 coin, produced by the Royal Mint.

The finishing touch was provided by a string of Union Jack bunting, which must have inspired someone, because I saw it everywhere over the weekend!

Zosia - Collections Intern

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