Retro is chic at museum

Chris Wild  The Retronaut
Chris Wild The Retronaut

A SELF-STYLED ‘time traveller’ has been appointed to share Northumberland’s archives with the masses.

Chris Wild, who has hundreds of thousands of online followers as The Retronaut, will be the first guest curator of Northumberland Archives at Woodhorn Museum near Ashington.

He is renowned internationally for presenting archive photographs in a different light and his role at Woodhorn is to find new ways of sharing the content of some of the three million items in the county archive collections with people who might never have considered visiting a museum before.

The collections include paper records, audio, film, maps, photographs and works of art.

Mr Wild’s appointment for Museums and Archives Northumberland is supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund, run by the Museums Association.

He said: “Before I was a full-time Retronaut I worked in the museum and archive world for the best part of a decade so to be able to put Retronaut directly at the service of museums and archives, and as inspiring and comprehensive as Museum and Archives Northumberland, is a dream come true.”

Much of the project will take place online, but it is hoped that a physical exhibition by the curator will also take place at Woodhorn later this year.

Museums and Archives Northumberland Director Keith Merrin said: “Archives remain one of the best kept secrets of the heritage sector. They contain amazing records covering all aspects of life, but many people are unsure how to access them or what they contain.

“At Woodhorn and our other museums in Northumberland we have a brilliant track record of enthusing people about their local history and we are keen to find new ways of making sure that our archive collections can also reach the widest possible audience.”