Popular podcasts to mark Lancaster museum's centenary go global

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Podcasts recorded to celebrate Lancaster City Museum’s centenary are attracting an international audience.

Despite living in a war-torn country, some people from Ukraine are listening to the podcasts which focus on 100 objects in the museum collections.

And the international audience spreads as far as America, Australia, India and New Zealand too.

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“The response has been great,” said Lancaster City Museums collections registrar, Rachel Roberts, who is recording the podcasts with a variety of people from academics and museum staff to local people with an interest in history.

A model of an Iguanodon sparked a podcast conversation this month.A model of an Iguanodon sparked a podcast conversation this month.
A model of an Iguanodon sparked a podcast conversation this month.

It was Rachel’s idea to mark the centenary of the City Museum in Market Square with 100 podcasts spread throughout its milestone year.

“Our museums haven’t done a lot of audio before so it does reflect how museums have changed,” said Rachel.

“A hundred years ago, museums were very formal, learning environments educating Lancastrians about the world but now we want to tell Lancaster’s stories to the world. Who knows what the first museum curator in 1923 would have thought?”

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Between 75-100 people listen to each podcast with 80 per cent of the audience coming from the UK.

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Two podcasts are released each week and in March, the subjects have ranged from a model of an Iguanodon dinosaur to a Prisoner of War games compendium, and from Irish elk antlers to a Morecambe guidebook from the 1920s.

Some of the most popular podcasts so far have been ones on Roman Lancaster, a cinema programme from the 1920s and a 12-year-old mill girl’s indenture document.

For April, subjects covered will include the diary of Buck Ruxton, Edwardian postcards, executions at Lancaster Castle, Georgian table manners and funeral biscuits.

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The podcasts are being recorded for posterity and as well as being available online, visitors to the City Museum’s 100 favourite objects exhibition later this year will also be able to listen to some, and they could be used to tell the stories of other objects on display once the centenary year is over.

The podcasts can be found at Lancaster.gov.uk/100-years, and at https://onehundredyearsonehundredobjects.podbean.com/ as well as on Amazon Music and Spotify by searching for ‘Lancaster City Museums’.

* Animalia: a century of curious creatures is the new exhibition opening at Lancaster City Museum on March 25 and explores the animals in the museum collections. It runs until September 3.