Museum projects



Find out about our interesting projects working with volunteers, communities and organisations.

Net Zero Zine Aspect Ratio 785 400

Cultural Youth Forum

Our Net Zero Zine

Market Harborough young people participated in a project which will help inform future plans for Net Zero Leicestershire. Over eight weeks they created a Net Zero Zine out of recycled materials that highlight environmental issues they are passionate about. They hope that the zine and display start a climate change conversation with other young people in the Harborough District. The culmination of the project was a display in the Harborough Museum which took place on Saturday 9th December 2023.

Read more about the project on Speak Out and Culture Leicestershire.

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Market Harborough then and now

This project was supported by the Friends of Harborough Museum and began in 2000. Volunteers from the Friends took photographs of the buildings and businesses in the main streets of Market Harborough, recording changes in the town.

The Market Harborough Collection includes thousands of images of the town and where possible the volunteers worked to record changes to the town.  An exhibition was developed using those images.

Some of these images were digitised however many more remain in printed form only. To view and purchase copies of some of these images of Harborough and Leicestershire, please visit Image Leicestershire.

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Contour and cream

This community project was led by Arts Development at Harborough District Council and Harborough Museum was one of the partners, using oral history to tell the stories of the Symington workforce in the town.  During the 1830s two brothers, James and William Symington came to Market Harborough and established their own businesses, one a draper and tailor and one a grocer.  By the end of the turn of the 20th century these two businesses, W Symington Ltd and R & W H Symington & Co Ltd were major employers for the town and had other factories across the world.

Many employees of both factories were interviewed, a performance by Elaine Pantling created and a booklet was produced as part of the project. The project was funded by The National Lottery Fund.

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The lost workforce

This project followed on from the work of Contour and Cream funded by the Local Heritage Initiative, Awards for All and the Howard Watson Symington Memorial Charity. It was led by Harborough District Council Arts Development, working with a group of local teachers (the Market Harborough Local History Group), and performance artist Elaine Pantling using the ‘Contour and Cream’ performance to create Learning packs for schools.

All local schools were given copies of these packs which included a DVD of the Contour and Cream performance.  In addition Leicestershire Museums developed two inspiring collections boxes of handling material.

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Shopping in Harborough

This project was a continuation of the Highlights of Harborough work and saw the recruitment of volunteers to research and input information onto a digital map that particularly related to the theme of shopping in Harborough. Volunteers also took photographs of a number of buildings at they were in 2012. 

The project was funded by Renaissance.

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Flossing and lace

We have been working hard to promote the extensive and unique Fashion Collections held by Leicestershire County Council.

The Fashion Collections are studied by a wide range of people including many students. We started to promote the archives using social media, which has allowed brand new audiences to discover the collections.

We began with a Facebook page and then started using a Tumblr account in conjunction with the already successful Facebook page.

Our ‘Flossing and Lace’ Tumblr account promotes our corsetry collection, principally the Symington Archive.

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Image Leicestershire

Image Leicestershire is the County Council’s hub for historic images, featuring digitized collections from museums and archives. You can find historical photographs, artworks, and artefact images from around the county and beyond. There are currently several thousand public images available to browse.
The site includes an array of material from the Harborough Photographic Collection, which itself comprises nearly 5,000 photographs of Market Harborough and surrounding villages.

Other galleries of note include illustrated lantern slides from the First World War, Fine Art and Artworks collections, Auster aircraft photography, historical photography from Mablethorpe summer camp, and the devastation following the Leicester Blitz of 1940. The website is also home to the Newton Rail Collection, an important record of the construction of the Great Central Railway through Leicestershire and other Midland counties.

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Green Plaques scheme

The Leicestershire County Council Green Plaques were awarded to people and places in and around the county, nominated and voted for by the public.

The nominees were considered by a panel, who then narrowed down to a shortlist of twelve. The public then voted for their favourites and the six with the most votes were honoured at ‘plaque unveiling’ events.

Market Harborough Historical Society successfully nominated Sir William Bragg and his son, William Lawrence Bragg for the Nobel-prize winning discovery of crystallography. The plaque for Bragg and Bragg was installed on Catherwood House, The Square, Market Harborough on June 16th 2016.

To find out more visit Leicestershire County Council’s webpage on the Green Plaque Scheme.