The Imaginary Museum of the North was a collaboration between the Lit & Phil, November Club, Museums Northumberland and Newcastle Bridges School.

The exhibition ran for three months as part of the Inspired By programme for Great Exhibition of the North. It celebrated Newcastle’s first Museum which was in the Lit & Phil.The Lit & Phil was established 225 years ago and soon became the place to send interesting artefacts from all over the world. The collection continued to expand, first into the Newcastle Museum, purpose built behind the Lit & Phil, and in 1884 into what we now know as The Great North Museum: Hancock.

It’s hard to imagine how exciting this must have been for the people of the North East; seeing objects that they may never have heard of before. We hopec to recreate this feeling! Visitors to the Lit & Phil could follow a trail and discover the stories behind the Museum’s weird and wonderful objects, from a giant octopus, some cloth used to wrap a Mummy, to burnt toast…..

Young people were encouraged to put their own ideas forward of what would go into their Imaginary Museum. 

While the Imaginary Museum of the North was running, the Lit & Phil received over 28,000 visitors (an increase of 10,000 compared to the same period the previous year). It was estimated that at least half of the visitors followed the trail and engaged with the Exhibits.  

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