Elgin Museum | Recruiting New Board Members
29 October 2021 • Laura Masling
Historically, Elgin Museum is a consequence of the burgeoning of Elgin as a centre for business in the Early 19th Century – the founders included a banker and bookseller, and many earlier donations were a consequence of the commercial ventures of Moray men and women around the world. As to the distinctive Italianate design of the building, local architect, Thomas Mackenzie, in 1841 reasoned: ‘…all our public buildings are designed in the Grecian style, and if we were to erect another partaking of the same characters, Strangers and Conniseurs (sic), might be inclined to say we had “too much of a good thing”’.
Scotland’s oldest continuously independent museum, it was originally funded by public subscription and is owned and managed by The Moray Society, a membership organisation open to all. Funding has always been swings and roundabouts but it is now seven years since there has been any regular financial support from Moray Council. Since their Museum Service was discontinued and the doors of the Falconer Museum closed, Elgin Museum is the only Accredited museum in Moray.
COVID-19 has made the Museum’s functioning considerably more challenging especially for a volunteer run Museum, housed in a Victorian building. A Manager/Curator remains an aspiration but the post is currently unfunded. However, great strides have been made in providing a digital presence (see their web site and social media outlets) with wide-ranging content aimed at existing and new audiences – of all ages! Elgin Museum is now able to reopen the doors, if only at weekends and with Covid precautions in place, and hope we will be able to maintain this over the winter.
Elgin Museum are currently in need of new members for their Board: people with an interest in Moray’s heritage and future prosperity, and the business experience to expand the Board’s skill set.
The role of museums has changed considerably in the 21st Century with broader and creative uses as public spaces, notwithstanding Covid as a limiter. Although Elgin Museum is a registered charity, which has implications for any commercial ventures, they want to integrate more effective and novel strategies of financing for the survival of the Museum. Grateful as they are for the membership subscriptions, other donations and (hard won) project grants, the future will necessitate a more proactive and long term approach. This will include taking forward current plans for essential refurbishment of the buildings, incorporating some repurposing for income opportunities.
If any Chamber of Commerce members are interested in finding out more with a view to joining their Board (or supporting the Museum through Corporate Membership) please contact Janet Trythall via email@example.com . In the meantime, visit and experience the Museum for yourselves: www.elginmuseum.org.uk
Janet Trythall, Elgin Museum Volunteer and Board member