Buxton Museum and Art Gallery is set to unveil a brand new gallery and digital experience.
Wonders of the Peak – a journey through time and place – houses the Terrace Road museum’s collection of 1,200 Peak District artefacts collected over 125 years.
It is being accompanied by a new website, www.wondersofthepeak.org.uk, through which people can explore the collection digitally while visiting the Peak District, or from the comfort of their own home, or the library, using their smartphone, tablet or computer.
More than 75 volunteers were instrumental in the project, testing the digital content, collecting oral histories, laying out new displays and conserving and documenting artefacts.
Derbyshire County Council Leader Barry Lewis, who will welcome the Duke of Devonshire to the reopening off the gallery on Tuesday afternoon, said: “I’m delighted to attend the launch of this new, innovative gallery that can only enhance visitors’ experiences of the museum and of the Peak District.
“And modern technology has given us the opportunity to make the museum’s wonderful collection available to a global audience.”
The artefacts on display have been selected from the museum’s geology, archaeology, history and art collections.
The museum has worked with the National Trust and Peak District National Park, who look after many of the archaeological sites featured in the new displays.
Objects taken to The British Museum in the 19th Century are now back in Derbyshire, alongside loans from Derby Museums Trust and Manchester Museum.
Visitors will see the face of a 4,500-year-old Liffs Low man emerging through the mist, the massive power of the skeletal hind leg of the Hindlow cave lion, and the beauty of the first Blue John window to be made in 150 years.
The museum’s photographic archive, covering more than 150 years, will be projected on a large screen.
Staff will be able to change the displays, adding new acquisitions and sharing the results of research into the collections.
As well as funding from Derbyshire County Council, the redevelopment, costing £1.5million, has been made possible with support from The Heritage Lottery Fund, The Wolfson Foundation, Arts Council England, the Paul Mellon Foundation for the Study of British Art, the Art Fund, The Friends of Buxton Museum and many other supporters.
Peter Knott, area director for Arts Council England, said: “Buxton Museum and Art Gallery plays an important role in conserving the history and geology of Derbyshire and we’re delighted to have invested in their redevelopment, through the National Lottery-funded Museums Resilience scheme.”