Treasures: The Museum of Curious Everyday Objects
A few weeks ago at Scottish Book Trust, we gathered together to host the first ever ‘Museum of Curious Everyday Objects’. The museum didn’t come with priceless artefacts, specimen cases or pristine displays. Instead, each member of staff brought in a treasured item from their home and we gathered them all together for an impromptu pop-up museum.
Even within our small group, the range of objects produced was very wide, from teddy bears to wedding rings; scrapbooks to roller skates, to a pair of old socks!
Each item was labelled with a short description and placed in the (tiny) museum for display and then we each spent some time speaking about our treasure and what makes it special.
Philippa chose her recipe scrapbook, pieced together from scribbled-down phone conversations, cutouts from magazines and neatly penned family classics:
‘When I left home I figured out pretty quickly that my shaky knowledge of baking a Victoria Sponge was not going to cut it if I wanted to eat as well as I was used to. So I started a scrapbook of recipes – my mum had one, bound in red, textured leather, with her name embossed in gold on the front, filled in well-marshalled order with her neat handwriting – and this was obviously what grown-ups did. Mine is a blank-paged A4 notebook with an odd picture of string and brown paper and other such things on the front. Inside, taped, stuck with glues or scribbled are recipes that I collected in the first few years that I struck out on my own. ‘
Lynsey chose a small plastic box filled with letters from her childhood friend, Jane:
‘I can’t remember when the first one arrived, or if we ever spoke about them. One day they just started happening. Hand delivered, of course, often containing sweets or a little token piece of cheap jewellery or a prized missing photo from our Spice Girls collection. The content of those letters seems foolish now; boys, bands, school and just a hint of what our future might be. But only a hint.’
Ros decided to write a letter to her trusty teddy bear, Wee Sue.
‘You stuck by me through the good times and bad, through thick and thin. You always listened so patiently to my tales of joy and sorrow. If anything bad happened, you always gave me a warm hug and made me feel safe.’
If you want to delve a little deeper and see what other everyday treasures our staff chose to talk about, you can read them all on one page here.