Bradford's National Museum

Bradford’s National Museum explored how the National Science and Media Museum can become locally-rooted and more open, engaged and collaborative. Over 150 people were involved in different ways in shaping the research and the ideas that have emerged.

This publication is not simply giving a retrospective account of the research findings. It was developed as an intrinsic part of our action research. We used the process of creating the publication to enable a final phase of reflection and dialogue and to draw out future directions for the National Science and Media Museum in and with Bradford.

Approaching the issues from many different people’s perspectives sharpened our understandings of the significant tensions produced by a national museum seeking to be rooted and collaborative. It also identified ways in which the tensions could be activated as strengths, dynamically creating pathways between the national and the local and expanding what the museum is and might become.

About the project

Part 1 Moments

Reflections on Bradford’s National Museum – from museum staff and collaborators – draw attention to significant moments of insight and indicate where there are possibilities for development and change.

  • Jean McEwan

    Culture is a human right. Everyone has an equal right to express it on their own terms, without permission or approval. If...

  • Claire Mayoh

    I’ve been on the periphery of the Bradford’s National Museum Project, due to limited time to participate, whilst maintaining a...

  • Tim Smith

    The Power of Conversation Over the past thirty-five years I’ve talked to a lot of people in Bradford. I arrived...

  • Seán McLoughlin

    Six months into the Bradford’s National Museum Project a casual, end-of-workshop exchange prompted a ‘light-bulb’ moment of realisation that ‘buy-in’...

All moments

Part 2 Dialogues

The reflective moments were listened to carefully by museum staff and put into dialogue with their own everyday practice in order to explore the tensions of being a national museum seeking to be rooted and collaborative.


Part 3 Future Directions

The National Science and Media Museum writes a letter to Bradford reframing the ‘tensions as strengths’ and identifying ways of working that will enable the museum to be both the nation’s and Bradford’s.

Future Directions