Behind The Scenes, 26 February 2020: Collections reload in full effect

Behind The Scenes, 26 February 2020: Collections reload in full effect

26 February 2020

It's been a busy few weeks as the fit out of our galleries and exhibition spaces continues and the reload of our collections really picks up the pace.

Our construction site is a constant hive of activity: showcases are being assembled; projectors, screens, televisions and other audio-visual units continue to be installed; while graphics and other interpretation elements are put in place.

The atrium in The Box, Plymouth in mid fit-out
The Media Lab gallery in The Box, Plymouth in mid fit-out
The 100 Journeys gallery in The Box, Plymouth in mid fit-out

The team looking after our media collections have been very productive throughout February. Large pieces of equipment such as the Telecine – a machine that enables film to be transferred to video – have been moved from Catherine Street, the former home of the South West Film and Television Archive, to The Box. No mean feat, considering it weighs nearly half a tonne!

A group of people mainly dressed in red move a large piece of film equipment through a doorway

The media collections have arrived. The core tape collection from Television South West was the first on the shelves, followed by the film collection and donated collections. It's very satisfying to have them all safely housed in their new, environmentally controlled store.

Orange film reels on a shelf in an archive store
Film reels in silver cases on shelves in an archive store
Media tapes in green cases on shelves in an archive store

The media gallery is really taking shape and the big screen is looking superb. After a review, it’s almost ready for sign off. We’re really looking forward to seeing visitors' reactions to the amazing film content that will be on show.

People standing in front of a large screen projection

The art collections have also now moved into The Box. Ceramics, works on paper, books, volumes, hundreds of framed paintings and more are all looking beautiful on their new racks. Moving the collections involves a great deal of documentation as well as the actual transit of the works.

A large painting in a transit frame being loaded into a van
People uncrating large paintings in a store
A person wearing blue conservation gloves sorting through a box of historic books

Huge preparations are also underway elsewhere, including our natural history department, with beetles and butterflies of all shapes and sizes being pinned ready for display.

Pinned beetles from a natural history collection
A person pinning butterflies from a natural history collection ready for display
Three large pinned insects from a natural history collection

We’ve made important announcements about our schools programme, sponsorship agreements with Babcock and Plymouth Citybus and an amazing new acquisition for our art collections this month. We’ve also welcomed a number of guided tours to our site with great feedback and a lot of excitement from everyone. March is set to be even busier, and with 80 days to go until our launch weekend the countdown to the opening of The Box is well and truly on.