Grant awarded by Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund

Jewish Museum London is one of fifteen museums that have been awarded a grant from a total of £367,000 from the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund for projects that bring people closer to collections at a time when physical access to museums is restricted.

The Object Lending Library: An Accessible Collection

Literally bringing objects from our collection into people’s homes and community spaces, this innovative project aims to break down the walls of the museum and connect to individuals and communities.

We want to make our collection both digitally and physically accessible, giving audiences the opportunity to connect to objects of meaning.

Imagine bringing new life to museum objects by housing them in your own environment. We will for the first time create a pathway for individuals, groups and organisations who want to borrow an object for a specific event. Imagine a family Hanukah where you can borrow an object brought to this country 100 years ago from the same place your own family migrated from. Imagine learning its history and seeing it intertwine with your own.

Objects from the collection will be identified which are suitable for both travel and handling, and that have meaningful connection to communities. There are also opportunities to link to wider events such as Refugee Week, International Women’s Day, Black History Month and Jewish festivals.

We will be announcing details of how to get involved here and on our social media. The museum will work with partners across communities who are interested to experience the Object Lending Library.

The museum has received a generous grant of £28,000 from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to realise this project.

Supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Museums Association launched Sustaining Engagement with Collections in May – a new £350,000 funding stream with a quick turnaround to support innovative interventions with collections during the Covid-19 crisis. With 145 applications, the programme was heavily oversubscribed and the available funding was raised to £367,000 to meet this demand. All the projects will be completed within twelve months.