The University of Cumbria has signed an agreement with one of the UK’s rarest small museums based in Cumbria.
The Armitt Library and Museum Centre shares the same Ambleside location as the university and first opened in 1912 as a museum, library and gallery devoted to preserving and sharing the cultural heritage of the Lake District.
The Armitt was founded in memory of sisters Mary Louisa and Sophia Armitt in 1912 with Beatrix Potter among early supporters.
With the university home to highly respected arts, outdoor and english departments both parties agree signing a formal Memorandum of Understanding will enable both to flourish.
“The Armitt is our closest neighbour and an organisation that represents part of the rich history of Ambleside,“ Vice Chancellor Prof Julie Mennell said. “We’ll be working with them in a range of different ways to ensure that we make the most of what this organisation has to offer in terms of expertise and archive that can benefit our students, and equally they can benefit from our resource and expertise”.
The library and museum contains a varied collection of artefacts. Trustees are hoping closer ties with the university could lead to an expansion of the collection within the university campus.
“Our current site is too small for the depth and size of collection we have and we would like to work with the university to expand our footprint and reach,” Charles Nugent, chair of the Armitt Library said. “The Armitt and the University of Cumbria both have things to offer each other which will be of mutual benefit to both institutions. We have the academic resources the historic and cultural depth that we hope that the university and students can make use of.”
The signing of the MoU ‘recognises both organisation’s shared roots in the intellectual heritage of Ambleside and the Lake District’ and highlights ‘the potential of this partnership to curate and animate this for new generations.’