Open air museums are amazing places. They invite visitors to step back into a time and place more normally only available in museum cabinets, publishing and sepia photographs. You can discover ways of life and living, (near) lost skills and crafts, and perhaps try a few yourself. But museums cannot stay fixed in time as the stories they tell are. Why? Because their audiences certainly do not stand still. How can you interpret a century-old village in a time of digital technology without ruining the experience? How can the stories of Ulster be told – and importantly with the active involvement of its people – for the next generation? And how can the Museum be a central part of Northern Ireland’s offer to visitors – a must-see?
That’s the exciting challenge we have been invited to jump into – to create a vision and route map that can help enable National Museums Northern Ireland to transform the visitor experience of the Ulster Folk Museum without losing what is so exceptional about it already.