In the Oxfordshire County Collections there is a sword.
It dates to around 450-550 AD and is Anglo-Saxon. It was made using a technique called pattern-welding and would have had an intricate herringbone pattern along its blade. Belonging to somebody wealthy, it would have been a symbol of status.
It may have slain men in battle. It may have been kept as a treasured, family heirloom and passed on from one generation to the next. It may have had a name.
On 26 November 2013, the Museum of Natural History hosted the first "Museum Matches" event as part of a joint museums project with the Ashmolean Museum aimed at engaging students from across the university with museum objects.
The idea for the event came out of the Oxford ASPIRE Innovation Day where colleagues from across the Oxford University Museums came together to discuss ideas for innovative new ways of working, and was supported by the ASPIRE Innovation Fund.
On 18th November 15 year 8 students from Marlborough School joined us after school for an event at The Oxfordshire Museum. The event was part of their Bronze Art Award, a national qualification that they are participating in thanks to funding from Arts Council England through the Oxford ASPIRE consortium.
At this year's Museums Association conference, ASPIRE pitched and chaired a session on Museum Development, bringing together three MD deliverers from different parts of the country that deliver MD in different ways. The sessions looked at what has been working for regional MD services, where change is needed, and what the future might hold.
In September, older people in Faringdon were given the rare opportunity to examine an Anglo Saxon sword, several brooches and other treasures close-up at their local day centre.
On 24 September, 34 delegates from across the UK came to the Ashmolean Museum for the second event in the ASPIRE Commercial Enterprise series: For Weddings and a Film Set: An Introduction to Venue Hire.Corporate Events and Weddings.
On 3rd October 2013 I was fortunate to attended Museum Ideas, the annual Museum ID Conference at the Museum of London. I knew from the outset that this would be one of those conferences we walked away from feeling energised and full of ideas based on the excellent speaker list and the promise of 200 delegates from 20 different countries.
Back at the end of July, visitors to The Oxfordshire Museum traveled back to Anglo-Saxon times for a great family day out. To coincide with National Archaeology Fortnight, we celebrated the opening of a new exhibition at the museum - Inspiring Archaeology: Treasures of the Romans and Saxons.