Effective Collections update

As we enter the final stages of the Effective Collections Disposals Project, we wanted to bring you an update on how the project is going and some of the interesting places that we have transferred items to.

One year in!

We are already over a year into the Effective Collections disposal project, and we have made some exciting progress to update you on! We have now found solutions for 1,500 items on our disposal list, with items being sent to 25 different museums, and 600 items having already been handed over to the recipient museums, freeing up invaluable space in our object store. Keep reading to find about out some of the items that have been transferred and their new homes.

24 January 2022
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From Elmbridge Museum to the Royal Academy

We transferred 4 aquatints by J Farington to the Royal Academy of Arts.

Aquatints by J Farington

Windsor and Eton by J Farrington

Windsor and Eton by J Farrington


The aquatints depicted scenes of the Thames, none of which showed any areas of Elmbridge. We offered them to the Royal Academy as J Farringdon was a founding member, and the Academy were happy to accept them as they filled a gap in their collection. Aquatint is a print making technique.

Who was Joseph Farington?

Joseph Farington

Joseph Farington RA was an 18th century landscape painter who lived from 1747 to 1821. He became a member of the Society for Artists in 1765, at age 18, and joined the Royal Academy when it was founded 4 years later. He contributed works to the Academy’s exhibitions every year until 1801. He struggled to paint following the death of his wife in 1800. He spent time drawing landscapes in the Lake District and was skilled at detailed and accurate topographical drawings, which were popular amongst tourists to Britain. In 1794 he published a two-volume History of the River Thames with 76 aquatints.

Toys to Worthing Museum


James Sainsbury, Curator at Worthing Museum

James Sainsbury, Curator at Worthing Museum

We had a large amount of 1970s children’s toys with no strong link to Elmbridge. I got in contact with Worthing Museum who have a large and renowned collection of children’s toys to see if they would like any of the items. They were happy to take them, and the toys are now at Worthing where they will be much more relevant to their collection. Here is a picture of James, a curator at Worthing Museum, signing the object exit form before taking the objects away. This paper trail is important as it allows us to keep track of where items have gone which will be useful to future museum staff and researchers.

Inverness dress

Transfer to Inverness

We have sent off a Victorian dress and jacket to Inverness Museum and Gallery. This is by far our furthest-flung museum where we have transferred items to. The items were on long-term loan to us and the lender requested that the items be offered to Inverness as the original owners of the items had lived in that area. Here are some pictures of the items and the package ready to be sent off to Scotland.

inverness jacket

Victorian Jacket

Both the jacket and the dress can be dated to the 1890s and are interesting examples of what Scottish Victorian women were wearing at the end of the 19th century.

Inverness package

We carefully packaged up the dress and jacket and had them couriered to Inverness Museum & Art Gallery.

An egg-cellent transfer


Chicken feeder

We have transferred a chicken coop and chicken feeder to the Rural Life Living Museum, Farnham, which they requested as they need props for a chicken display that they are assembling. We have a large collection of 20th century rural life items like this that were acquired from local farms.

The Rural Life Living Museum is a 10-acre open air museum which tells the story of the countryside through allowing visitors to explore historic farm buildings and implements as well as take a ride on the Old Kiln Light Railway. On various days throughout the year you can watch volunteers demonstrate craft skills, working machinery and bring to life characters through live interpretation.  You can find out more about the museum on their website: https://rural-life.org.uk/

24 January 2022
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Objects going online


Pigeon skeletonAs well as approaching museums directly, we have also uploaded all remaining items to the Museums Association ‘Find an Object’ website which allows other Accredited museums to see what items are up for disposal and to request items that they think would enhance thHedgehogeir collections. Since posting our objects to this site, we have been approached by several museums. One of these is the Richard Jeffries Museum, a museum in Swindon about the Victorian nature writer, which is set in a mid-19th century farmhouse. They have requested to take some of our natural history items such as a pigeon skeleton, and some pieces of taxidermy such as a hedgehog and a fox. These items lack the local provenance necessary to make them useful to our collection but will be useful for the Richard Jeffries Museum who are creating a display featuring all the animals mentioned in Richard Jeffries’ writings.

24 January 2022
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Expanding our Discovery Boxes

  • Tudor pots
  • Toys

Tudor pots

Some objects on the disposals list have been transferred to the Elmbridge Museum’s Learning & Outreach Officer to be added to our ‘Discovery Boxes.’ These boxes are hired out by schools to give children a hands-on history experience. These Tudor Pots from our archaeology collection do not have a strong connection to the area, yet they are useful for our Tudor Discovery Box as they will allow children to have a rare close-up experience with Tudor culture. Tudor pots


Some toys were also transferred to our Discovery Boxes. Our Learning Officer Jodie explains here how these items enhance the boxes and fill object gaps;

“Our Toys from the Past discovery box is one of our most popular discovery boxes, giving students a glimpse into the lives of children in the past and the toys they would have played with. The original discovery box was very focused on toys that were popular in the Victorian period, like spinning tops, china dolls and the cup and ball game. When I had the opportunity to redesign the discovery box last year I decided to focus on showing how toys have changed over time, thinking especially about the different materials that would have been used. Although I had plenty of toys in the handling collection to select from, I didn’t have many examples of toys from more recent decades. Luckily the disposals project list included a fantastic collection of toys from the late 20th Century, from Busy Body figures to an entire collection of plastic animals. By incorporating these items into the discovery box I was able to demonstrate how modern materials such as plastic transformed the toy world and shaped the way we play today.”

Discovery Box

Discover More

Check out our other blog post to find out the earlier stages of our Effective Collections Disposals Project and to see which items are being transferred next month.

Go to the first Effective Collections blog post

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