Street exhibition and treasure hunt brings thousands of years of history to East Durham mining community

A street exhibition and treasure hunt is underway in Blackhall in a project bringing the community closer to history.

Thursday, 21st April 2022, 1:02 pm

The Street Museum project brings objects normally only seen in museums into people’s homes, businesses and community spaces.

Project bosses have worked with communities in Blackhall for months to create an outdoor exhibition where 3D printed objects from across history appear in the windows of homes, shops and community hubs.

Through pop up events, visits to Durham University’s museum collections, and community activities people in Blackhall have designed a treasure hunt weaving thousands of years of history into everyday places.

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A girl finds an exhibit in a window in Blackhall for the Street Museum exhibition. Picture by Alan Sill.

It launched in the former mining village on Tuesday, April 19, and runs until Sunday, April 24.

Treasure hunt maps are available from Blackhall Community Centre and participants who find all of the objects will collect a prize.

The project is a joint initiative between the community centre, Durham University’s Culture and Museum teams, arts engagement programme East Durham Creates and support from the Museums Association Digital Innovations and Engagement fund.

Manager of Blackhall Community Centre Alison Paterson said: "It has been a truly amazing project and exceeded our expectations.

Youngsters on the treasure hunt trail in Blackhall. Picture by Alan Sill.

"So many people have learned so much about ancient history, both local and far afield!”

Liz Waller, Director of Libraries and Collections at Durham University, added: “We are really committed to doing more in the wider county with communities who might not always have the opportunity to access or engage with the University – this is just the first of many really innovative projects we intend to run with communities like Blackhall.”

For the treasure hunt map visit

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