As a core part of the Fellowship project we will be working with three main project partners: the Thackray Medical Museum, Boots and Overbeck’s National Trust property in Salcombe, Devon. All have impressive and wide-ranging collections related to the history of anti-ageing and rejuvenation, with objects and papers ranging from mainstream professional medicine to quirky products designed for use at home. The goal of this collaboration is to reimagine how these collections can help us interpret our changing relationship with ageing and produce resources to engage with the public.
The Thackray Medical Museum is one of the largest medical museums in the UK. Since opening in 1997, the Museum has established an audience of around 65,000 visitors every year, and a collection of over 70,000 objects, books and medical trade catalogues. The museum reflects the legacy of Charles Thackray and his prestigious pharmacy and medical manufacturing company, preserving, interpreting and promoting the heritage of the medical and healthcare industries.
Boots Company Archive is a working corporate archive which houses and collects historic and contemporary records relating to the prestigious pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer. The archive is based at the spiritual home of Boots in Nottingham, and recently became the first corporate archive to receive funding from the Wellcome Trust. This five-year Research Resources award will support a complete overhaul of the archive and open up a huge range of new research and public engagement opportunities.
Overbeck’s National Trust property is perched high on the cliffs above Salcombe on the south Devon coast. It is a hidden paradise of subtropical gardens, eclectic collections and was the seaside home of inventor, scientist and entrepreneur Otto Overbeck. His most famous invention was his eponymous Rejuvenator, which promised to defy the ageing process. Overbeck gifted his house to the National Trust on his death in 1937, and it now attracts around 45,000 visitors annually, holding collections related to Otto Overbeck’s life and work.