Materials and Resources

Your Own Backyard: Local Materials & Objects

Using local materials, objects and resources is easier than it sounds, and can provide your museum with rich new opportunities to connect with your community in interesting and innovative new ways while creating a unique visual identity for your institution. By reaching out to new sources, your museum will inevitably create new partnerships, expand your reach into the community, and help you sustain your institution through new support networks.

Local Research: What Can You Find in Your Own Backyard?

The important thing to remember is you’ve got to do your research and be aware of who is doing what in your community. Have a look at your community’s list of local manufacturers from your local Chamber of Commerce Does your community have a rubber factory, a shoelace factory, a fire truck factory, a dairy industry, or a rainbarrel maker? Does it have a reputation for making superb musical instruments, woolen mittens, baking trays or ceramic pottery?¬† It doesn’t really matter what the industries are your museum could find a way to make use of many of the materials and castaways, or the expertise of those who have exquisite knowledge.

Sources for Local Materials

Local materials come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, forms and packages. These can include sustainably harvested and locally grown hardwoods; or reclaimed building materials from a warehouse that has recently been torn down; or items secured from a local thrift shop, from Craigslist, from individuals or through numerous word-of-mouth avenues.

Here is a list of sources that may provide interesting leads and help you get started...

Laying out the stone floor