We are delighted to announce that The Box has received a Special Commendation at this year's European Museum of the Year Awards. Here's a bit about what the judges loved:
'"The Box" is an entirely new and imaginative institution which brought together a substantial museum collection and two major archives in renovated museum and library buildings linked to create an extended and more practical home for the collections of the city of Plymouth. The four buildings that make up the home of “The Box” are connected by a newly built four-storey building which rationalises circulation and provides valuable additional space including the boxlike top floor, space for the paper archives of the city which gave rise to the name “The Box”. With outstanding exhibitions and easy access for all, this new museum complex has created a new cultural asset for the city and in its policies and programmes of community engagement at several levels, much-needed services for its citizens and visitors.
'Many of its exhibitions are suitable for visitors of all ages from the young to adults. They include first-class interactive screens and reconstructions of the environmental history of the region. The galleries are elegant with excellent visual presentations about the geology and history of the region and the city. The maritime importance of Plymouth is finely staged. Special emphasis is placed on the history of the Mayflower which famously in 1620 sailed from Plymouth and brought “the pilgrims” to what is now New England. Their landing was a formative step in the development of what later became the United States. The Mayflower gallery displays a re-creation of the little ship and information about its passengers together with artefacts associated with the voyage. It represents in a small way how the simplicities of history as portrayed in schoolbooks and adventure stories of even the recent past are now challenged.
Programmed activities from those for the very young to third-level education and to communities in need of greater integration into society are exemplary. A crew of volunteers support its outreach programmes and in-house work. This is a remarkable regional museum with strong ambitions for its cultural, educational and social effects.'