The History of Northampton in Emotional Objects – get involved!

On 15 November 2022, the Historians at the University of Northampton are holding a special event at Northampton Museum, called ‘The History of Northampton in Emotional Objects’.

This event is part of the national Being Human Festival, which is an opportunity for members of the public to get involved in the exciting work being done in universities across the Humanities. It is organised by Dr Mark Rothery and Prof Matthew McCormack, in association with Northampton Museum and Art Gallery. It brings together Mark’s interest in the history of emotions with Matthew’s work on the history of material culture.

This day workshop explores the personal and community attachments to the town and region through a series of objects selected by the people of Northampton. How do objects attach us to families and places? Why do we feel an attachment to things and what does this tell us about our lives?

Across the day, we will hear talks from historians about their work in this area, and also curators from the museum talking about objects in their collection. The event will culminate in an exciting virtual reality exhibition at the museum, showcasing objects that have an emotional connection to the town for their owners.

We would love you to get involved! Sign up here to come along to this FREE event. Please bring along one object that means something to you and connects you, or your community, to Northampton.

This might be a family heirloom, something precious that a loved one gave to you, or something that reminds you of Northampton and links you to the town. You may have an object with local or even national significance. Bring the object along on the day of the exhibition and you may have a chance of being shortlisted and having an image of your object displayed in the Museum!

‘The Cobbler’s Last’ statue in Abington Street (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Schedule for 15 November:

10:00: Arrival and deposit of items

10:30: Showcasing of objects

11:00: Talk by Dr Mark Rothery, ‘Being Human and the History of Emotions’

11:15: Talk by Prof Matthew McCormack, ‘Shoes as Personal Objects’

11:45: Break, while the objects are curated and digitised

12:15: UON Postgraduate Researchers present their research

1:00: Lunch

2:00: Talk by Museum staff talk about holdings and emotions

2:30: Announce the shortlisted objects – vote for the top three!

3:00: Close

The event is free of charge, and will be held at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery, Guildhall Road, Northampton, NN1 1DP. For further information, please contact

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