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Curating Roman Catholic Material Culture 1536-1829, 3 October 2022

3 October 2022 @ 10:15 am - 4:55 pm

A gold chalice and paten


This event is one in a series of 15 BAN supported seminars for 2022.

2029 will mark 200 years since The Catholic Emancipation Act permitted Catholics to sit in the House of Commons. It was the culmination of a fifty-year campaign to remove significant barriers to Roman Catholic involvement in British and Irish society that had been place since 1536.

Despite the ostensive removal of impediments to engagement with Catholic material culture in 1829, artefacts (and collections of them) relating to the experience of British and Irish Catholicism in the period 1536–1829 remain little known and poorly understood.

The event will bring curators, custodians, and active users of British and Irish Catholic material heritage together to acquire and share expertise about the location, nature and extent of monastic, college, and seminary collections, as well as other non-National concentrations.

Core to the event will be the position that British and Irish Roman Catholic material heritage is more than evidence of faith. Artefacts and their potent stories also exemplify intergenerational inheritance and transmission, extensive cultural horizons, complex historical memory, tolerance, empowerment, and engagement, as well as of oppression, rejection, disenfranchisement, dislocation, and exile.

This workshop will endeavour to provide a safe non-judgmental space dedicated to the demystification of Catholic Material Culture. Its foremost goal will be the promotion of understanding and engagement between stakeholders, opening avenues to future collaborations and proposals for a programme of events towards and in 2029.

This workshop has been conceived with a view to allowing curators and other interested parties to develop the knowledge, language, and network needed to facilitate access to, present, interpret and mobilise Catholic heritage for multi-cultural audiences of diverse spiritual or no faith backgrounds.

The venue is wheelchair accessible, and there will be access to accessible, gender-neutral toilets. For information about accessibility, borrowing a wheelchair, and accessible parking, see here.  There will be access to a quiet space, and other sensory information is provided here. Please let us know if you have any access requirements or adjustments in advance.

Organised by Rachel King, Amina Wright and Tessa Murdoch.

Please contact Rachel King at [email protected] for more information.


3 October 2022
10:15 am - 4:55 pm


The British Museum
Great Russell St
London, WC1B 3DG
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