Our Work

Our work can be divided into five areas: collections development, exhibitions, events, learning and projects. The way we tackle these areas is set out in the museum's Business Plan .

Collections Development
We have combined our collections policies into one document called the
Collections Management Framework . The framework includes:

Collections Development Policy
We use our collections development policy to help guide our decisions on how to responsibly care for and manage our collections. You can find out more about our collections
here . If you would like to donate an object, please complete this form and one of the team will be in touch.

Collections Information Policy
The information policy sets out how we record and store information about the collection.

Collections Care and Conservation Policy
The care and conservation policy sets out what risks the collections face and how we try to limit potential damage.

Collections Access Policy
The access policy is there to help us to reduce barriers preventing people finding out more about the collection.

We have policies for:

We are committed to making our collections widely available and welcome requests to lend objects from our collection to other organisations and institutions which share the museum's values and aims. Please see our
Loans Policy for further details.

Human remains
Care and Treatment of Human Remains policy  sets out how we care for and use human remains. 

Exhibitions take place in the Art Gallery and the Walkway. We use our
exhibitions strategy  to help decide what exhibitions to put on. If you have an idea for an exhibition, please complete the expression of interest form at the end of the strategy.

The first-floor walkway is available to hire for exhibitions. If would like to know more about hiring the Walkway, please get in touch .

We aim to make our events and activities accessible for as many people as possible. If you have any ideas or suggestions for future events or activities, please
get in touch .

We aim to inspire creativity and life-long learning through the innovative use of collections to create fun and thought provoking formal and informal learning opportunities. Our approach to learning is underpinned by our
learning strategy .


Our projects are designed to deal with areas we think need special attention.

Current Projects

COVID-19 Journaling Project (2020)

The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic changed everyone's lives and will have a lasting impact on our community. Almost 100 local volunteers are recording their everyday experiences of the 'coronavirus crisis' in journals which will become part of the Museum's collections in due course. From key workers to delivery drivers; working-at-home parents to individuals shielding in isolation, the project aims to capture a range of perspectivies that will help future generations and researchers understand what this period was like for local people.

Building Digital Capacity Strategic Mentoring Programme (2020-)

The museum is part of The Space's new Strategic Mentoring Programme. This programme includes tailored resources to help address digital challenges, test new ideas, and think more strategically about how we use digital technologies.

What's in the Box? (2020-) 

This is a collections based community engagement project with East Sussex home education, LGBTQ+ and refugee community groups. It involves documenting and reviewing the museum's collections. It will result in three co-curated exhibitions showcasing work for each group. This project is funded through an Arts Council National Lottery Project grant.

Museums Futures (2020)

Museums Futures is a partnership of museums across the UK working together to support new entrants into the museum sector with an interest in gaining digital skills. A trainee is based at the museum for a year and will benefit from the network through regular training sessions at partner museums. This programme is coordinated by the British Museum and funded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund's Skills for the Future funding.

The Hastings Brexit Archive (2020-)

The Archive aims to record the views of local people on Brexit from the referendum in 2016 to current events. The project will collect stories today and preserve them for the future. Once complete the Archive will give a snapshot of local people's thoughts on Brexit for curators in the future to use.

Beyond the Spectacle: Native North American Presence in Britain (2019-)

This Arts & Humanities Research Council funded project examines the way Native American visitors to Britain interact with Native American collections here. The aim is to provide both a scholarly overview of the subject and practical advice for museum professionals without specialist expertise in this area. The museum is working with the project team to develop guidelines to enable visits by Indigenous people to Bristish museums.

LGBTQ+ A Hop, Skip and a Jump... (2019-)

We are working with East Sussex County Council, Charleston Farmhouse, De La Warr Pavilion, Towner Gallery and local young people to explore the hidden histories of LGBTQI+ people and communities in East Sussex over the past 100 years.

As part of #HastingsDigitalMuseum - our online resource during COVID-19 - museum and heritage freelancers Dan Vo and Olivia Bladen have created a fantastic resource inspired by the LGBTQ+=Me exhibition explaining how to make a 'zine', a type of DIY magazine. You can download a copy of the resource as a PDF here.

Museum & Schools (2018-)

This is a two-year long project funded by Arts Council England and the Department of Education. The aim of the Museums and Schools project  is to increase the number of schools visiting the museum. This project is a partnership between Hastings and Bexhill Museums.

As part of the Museum and Schools project, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery teamed up with local arts and theatre company, Dens and Signals, to trial a successful project supporting Year 6 pupils moving onto secondary school. This project, Transformations, used the museum, it’s grounds and collection to talk about friendship, resilience and dealing with change.

Heritage Schools (2018-)

This is an on-going piece of work with Historic England and local schools.

Hastings Pier Archive (2018-)

Hastings Pier heritage assets were transferred to council ownership in 2018. Since then the museum has been exploring ways of maintaining the Pier Archive website for the benefit of future generations.  

Previous Projects

Exploring Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Project

We worked with the International Council of Monuments and Sites UK, other museums and artists to explore intangible elements in museum collections.

Finding our place: A Future for Hastings Museum (2016-2018)

This Arts Council England funded project supported the museum to look at its organisation and sustainability. Download the report here .

Hastings Remembers... A Five-Year Programme of First World War Centenary Activities (2014-18)

Hastings Remembers was a programme of community activities to commemorate the First World War funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Climate Emergency
Hastings Museum & Art Gallery is getting hands-on and creative to help children and young people respond to the climate emergency. Local young people designed fantastic posters in our Climate Emergency Poster competition. We are displaying them in the museum to let visitors know why some gallery lights are off.  

Climate artwork by chidren

Students from Icklesham took part in a LEGO workshop designing, building and coding machines to clear plastic from the oceans. This supports their whole-school topic for 2020: ‘There is no Planet B!’. 

Our approach to
Fair Pay - we are committed to fairly paying people who work in arts. Our fees for artists, creatives and specialists for projects are in line with guidelines set by the relevant lead bodies.

Working with partners – we believe working in partnerships helps us do our job better. We decide on who to work with based on what the aims of the project or work are.

The shop – we like to stock a range of merchandise in the shop. We cater for all budgets from pocket money buys through to one-off bespoke artisan commissions. If you have any ideas or suggestions for new stock, then please get in touch .

Volunteering – you can find out what volunteering opportunities we currently have here . We encourage volunteer involvement in our work and hope that volunteers will both enjoy and benefit from their experiences. Our Volunteer Policy sets out our approach to volunteering.

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