A History of the North in 100 Objects is a website-based project intended to showcase the pioneering spirit and impact of the North of England’s inventors, artists, scientists and designers as part of Great Exhibition of the North, 22 June – 9 September. It is funded by the National Lottery and developed by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM).
Nominated by staff from museums and galleries across Northern England, A History of the North in 100 Objects brings together objects that illustrate the richness that comes from this region and its peoples, such as the creation of railways, a flourishing artistic life, the drive for social reform, and the sheer breadth and depth of world renowned inventions. These 100 objects tell just some of the inspiring stories that reveal the North’s ability to reinvent itself, to survive, thrive and create new futures for itself and others.
At Hexham Old Gaol you will be able to see our contribution to the project for yourself. The Hexham Tans are from early 19th Century. In 1823, 23,504 dozen pairs of these gloves were produced and exported across the world. They were made from the hides of locally farmed animals, tanned in Hexham then coloured with ochre from the Tyne Valley. Made in a range of styles, there was a pair to suit everyone from workers to fashionable ladies. Similar to Lancashire’s early cotton trade, female homeworkers were employed to sew the gloves after they were cut by men and boys.
An interactive and engaging website has been specially created where these and many more fascinating objects including items from other Museums Northumberland venues can be viewed: www.100objectsnorth.co.uk. Users can search for objects by location, time period, size (represented by animals) or theme. The ten big themes explored in the project are: Travel & Transport, Art & Design, Work & Industry, Religion & Faith, Inventions & Innovations, sport & Leisure, Music & Entertainment, Landscape & Natural History, Politics & Protest, and Words & Literature.
Visitors to the website are invited to curate their own collection by saving up to 10 objects into a personal ‘exhibition’ which can then be shared via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or email. Users can vote for their favourite exhibitions and the most popular will be displayed prominently on the website. A key feature of the Great Exhibition of the North, A History of the North in 100 Objects is also intended to act as a legacy for the Exhibition, as the website will be kept live for the foreseeable future.
The development of the website has been made possible thanks to money raised by National Lottery players and awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).