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Getting involved with Guildford Museum

There are all sorts of ways you can get involved with your local museum.

Photo sharing at Guildford Museum

Friends of Guildford Museum

The Friends of Guildford Museum was set up in 1995 to support and promote the work of the museum by raising funds to buy suitable items to add to the museum's collection which would otherwise be beyond its financial means.

As a friend, you will have an opportunity to participate in a varied programme of talks, outings and social activities arranged to appeal to all age groups.

Friends receive two newsletters a year, with details of events and articles of local historical and archaeological interest.


Volunteer training at Guildford Museum We will develop more opportunities for local people to work with us in providing services, by developing our band of volunteers. Please get in touch if you would like to volunteer. We'd love to hear from you. We have the following opportunities for our Your Stories, Your Museum project:

  • Events Volunteer -  attending community events with Your Stories, Your Museum project, talking to general public, gathering feedback, setting up stalls.  

  • Activities Volunteer - assisting in preparing and delivering children's/family activities, such as crafts (both drop-in and pre-booked) during school holidays and on Saturdays. These may have a craft, science, history or other theme. Preparing workshops for adults, assisting in creating appropriate resources and helping with setting up workshops and clearing up afterwards.

  • Visitor Engagement Volunteer - helping with consulting / talking to visitors, making visitors welcome, gathering feedback, looking after the resources available around the museum; those can relate to trails or interactive exhibits.

If you are interested in being a part of our team, and for more information, please call us on 01483 444751, or email HeritageServices@guildford.gov.uk or write to Guildford Heritage Services, Guildford Museum, Castle Arch, Guildford, GU1 3SX.

Community projects

We want to get local people involved in planning for improvements and in helping to shape the content of the museum, the way we work and the activities we offer. As part of this we are working with local partner organisations to develop community projects which will offer new activities and provide another opportunity for getting people involved to test ideas and to help to create new experiences.

All the projects use our collections and the history of Guildford as a starting point. The organisations and individuals that are working with us are helping us to explore our heritage in different ways.

Some of the activities will be done over a number of weeks, others will take just a few hours. They will all provide the opportunity for participants to give their ideas and opinions on the development of the museum or to get more involved. 

If you would like to participate in any of the future projects or activities please email HeritageServices@guildford.gov.uk, or phone us on 01483 444751, or drop into the museum in Quarry Street.

Below are some examples of projects and activities that we have been working on.

Learning to Fly Project

Learning to Fly Guildford Museum has been working with Arts Partnership Surrey and Sight For Surrey on a poetry project as part of the 'Surrey in the Great War: A County Remembers' archive project. People with a vision impairment had the opportunity to find out about the experience of Surrey people in World War I, handle original artefacts and listen to inspiring stories.

The sessions were led by Talia Randall, an experienced poet who helped participants create their own poem or work as part of a group. The final work was put on display in Guildford Museum. The final poems, along with those being written as part of other projects across Surrey, also provided inspiration for a piece of sound art that went on display at Brooklands Museum.

Our Stories Our Museum

Our Stories Our Museum During October 2017, Guildford Museum worked with Guildford Nursery and Children's Centre to find out what the children and parents wanted to see in the museum. Artist Becci Kenning of Art In-Transit worked alongside heritage, arts and nursery and children's centre staff on fun activities that uncovered what kinds of things interest young children in museums.

Children and parents/carers from the Hazel Avenue and York Road sites had the chance to take part. During the course of the week, Becci and the staff team helped the children explore and play as museum experts and create a piece of art to be displayed in the museum.

The final artwork was displayed in the museum during the October 2017 half term holidays.

YSYM Logo Arts Council England

Surrey Archaeological Society

The museum had its origins with the Surrey Archaeological Society, which was founded in 1854. In 1898 the society made their permanent headquarters at Castle Arch, and opened the museum to the public.

In 1911 Gertrude Jekyll gave the society her large collection of objects from cottages in West Surrey and more space was needed to show them. Mr Ferdinand Smallpiece, a councillor, paid for a purpose-built gallery and the council became more involved, having built up its own collection since 1905.

Since 1993, the museum has been run by Guildford Borough Council, which includes the care and display of Surrey Archaeological Society's own collection. Many of the items on display are part of the society's collections.

The Society's headquarters are still housed within the museum building. To find out more visit the Surrey Archaeological Society's website.