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Download issue 06 (High resolution) April 2011 (PDF, 3,9 MB)

Download issue 06 (High resolution) April 2011 (PDF, 3,9 MB)

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Articles been abandoned due to cost. However, AV has become far more accessible over the past 25 years: as part of the project, the museum rehabbed the physical installation to accommodate 3 AV programs: a slideshow ‘arming of a knight,’ video footage of armor in action, and a touchscreen mini-quiz that answers common visitor questions in a simple yet compelling game format. Where the previous timeline display had clocked very little dwelltime with visitors, the new installation has become one of the museum’s most popular features. A large part of this is predictably due to the AV content, but this content does much more than entertain a 21stcentury ‘YouTube’ audience: these Visitors perceive the Higgins Armory as a ‘museum of knights’ and a ‘museum of the Middle Ages,’ a fact familiar to us anecdotally and confirmed by a series of visitor interviews undertaken at the outset of these projects installations address some of the most pressing visitor interests about how armor was actually worn and what it was like to wear. Perhaps the most striking feature of this exhibit was its total cash cost to the museum: $1683.33 (the largest line item was $511 for the touchscreen). This was possible thanks to creative collaborations between curatorial, exhibits, and building staff in rehabbing existing vitrines; strategical temporary exhibit planning that generated content for long-term use (such as the touchscreen miniquiz); recycling outdated computer hardware (old screens and computers are just fine for looping a video file); and access to AV and computer resources through Worcester Polytechnic Institute that allowed us to produce our AV content through staff and student work. The ‘Knights’ exhibit was completed in 2010; as of March 2011 the Higgins has opened its new exhibit of Non-European Armor, which will be covered in the next article in this series. 46 MAGAZINE ISSUE 06

Articles Construction of the new displays began in March 2011, and the brand new ‘Early Engineers Gallery’ will open to the public in October 2011. Early Engineers Showcased The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded a grant of £46,000 for the “Early Engineers Gallery: From Roman Rochester to the Battle of Waterloo”, a brand new exhibition at the Royal Engineers Museum. The new galleries will highlight centuries of development of military engineering, leading to the Corps of Royal Engineers that we know today. New displays will include highly detailed models depicting the development of castles and fortifications both in Kent and around the world, items from the 18th Century Siege of Gibraltar, the oldest Royal Engineer Peninsular War Uniform in the Museum, and the Duke of Wellington’s map used at the Battle of Waterloo. The new galleries will also highlight the impact of the military heritage on the Medway Town’s physical and social landscape. Local residents will be invited to participate in the “Memories of Medway” oral history initiative, to record their experiences of life in Medway and to be used as part of the new displays. There will also be opportunities to have free guided tours of the historic Brompton Barracks- a symbol of Medway’s military importance for over 200 years and today still the working barracks and training ground of the Royal Engineers. Construction of the new displays began in March 2011, and the brand new ‘Early Engineers Gallery’ will open to the public in October 2011. ISSUE 06 MAGAZINE 47

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