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What's in store behind closed doors.

Even those who enjoy a regular stroll down memory lane at Beamish Museum usually find something new to explore on every visit. Between the village school and sweet shop, pit and pub, or fish shop and farm, any meander in a new direction can reveal a fresh attraction around the corner with first-timers to the open-air museum soon finding that one visit is never enough. In keeping with its role as custodian of the region's heritage, it is constantly adding to its collection and it's no surprise that its store cupboards are just as stuffed-full of goodies. And this summer we are being offered a chance to see behind those closed doors as Beamish opens up its stores for tours. Thanks to a new Open Stores project and the Beamish Curatorial Team, collections not previously on view to the public - except by pre-arrangement, special organised events or for research purposes - are to be gradually dusted off and visitors are in for a real treat. Besides shelves stacked high with all sorts of fascinating artefacts, they'll be able to see objects from more recent times - the 1950s and 1980s - which the museum is also currently building up for show within future developments and will be free to wander the collections and view them at their leisure. Not everything can be seen.

With core collections holding many thousands of objects, tours for some will still need to be preorganised, but the idea is to make everything as accessible as possible. It's been a huge task: striking a balance between having the stores open and interesting to visitors and also ensuring their continued use as a working resource for the museum.

As an ongoing process, visitors can expect to see new things unveiled all the time as more and more areas of the store open. For more information on the attractions at Beamish visit www.beamish.org.uk
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 30, 2013
Words:315
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