The British Museum contacted us about the Waddesdon Bequest Gallery that was being completely refurbished. As part of the refurbishment, the Museum wanted to provide tactile guides (tactile images with braille information) for some of the important objects in this collection.
We began by working with the museum to make sure the chosen objects from the collection would translate into meaningful and understandable tactile images.
Nine objects were then selected to feature in a booklet with tactile images, and braille information to accompany them. The British Museum supplied us with historical information of each object, to which we added detailed descriptions that would be read in conjunction with the tactile images. Detailed descriptions are vital to the understanding of tactile images and helps bring them to life for the tactile reader.
The final 59 page booklet contains 21 tactile image pages and 38 braille text pages that opens up the collection to blind and partially sighted people to enjoy, in a way that they would not normally be able to.
The booklets are now placed in the gallery in a specially designed holder next to a bench, ready for blind and partially sighted people to engage with.
The project manager at the British Museum had this to say about her experience of working with RNIB: “Michelle and Sue at the RNIB have produced a fantastic tactile guide for visitors to the Waddesdon Bequest at the British Museum. They were hugely helpful and informative during all stages of the process, giving clear indications of the material they needed the museum to supply, advising which objects would work well, and interpreting the objects in a thoughtful and intelligent way.”
“The text and images that they produced were of a very high standard, and we are delighted to see the tactile guides in use, and we have already received emails from visitors who have enjoyed using the tactile guide to the gallery.”
Tactile images, maps and touch installations enhance the experiences that people with sight difficulties have, making their visit more engaging, informative and stimulating.