"Museu al carrer" inventories 500 items in 7 months

27 July 2018

The mNACTEC participation project already has 111 contributors

The public participation project Museu al carrer (Museum on the streets), an initiative of the National Science and Technology Museum of Catalonia (mNACTEC), has added 507 items since it was launched in November 2017, thanks to the participation of 111 contributors. The project gathers photographs and information about distinctive elements of industrial society to be found around the streets and landscapes of Catalonia, such as old train and petrol stations, advertising and street signs, and long-standing traditional traders.

Participation in the project has spread around Catalonia over the last seven months, inventorying items in 39 districts. The areas prompting the greatest involvement have been the distinctive features of public utilities, such as water mains covers in different towns and cities, post office signs and public telephone markings. Numerous elements identifying corporate and industrial operations have likewise been added, in the form of signs on the façades of former industrial factories or establishments.

To encourage participation in the project, Street Museum stages its "Photo of the Month" competition which rewards members of the public taking part with an annual pass providing entry free of charge to the museums belonging to the mNACTEC Territorial Structure.

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Museu al carrer

The aim of the Street Museum project is to bring together photos and information about distinctive elements of industrial society to be found around the streets and landscapes of Catalonia. Although they are valuable and enduring records of a past era, many such elements have not been documented, appreciated or protected, and some run the risk of being lost.

Industrial society heritage should be understood as the cultural, social, scientific and technological legacy of the society that came about with the industrial revolution (19th century), and which was plunged into crisis by globalisation and new information technologies (1970-1980). This society experienced the emergence of industry and all the resulting consequences: the mechanisation of labour, the exodus from the countryside to the city, the expansion of advertising, the birth of sports and tourism, etc.

Street Museum focuses on four areas: transport and communications; advertising and information; trade, and leisure. The elements compiled include the former routes of highways, old petrol and train stations, advertising and street signs, traditional traders and elements of railway heritage.

Participation

Street Museum can be found at the website mnactec.cat/museualcarrer, which gathers together and displays the contributions made by the general public.

The project is based on collaboration by people from all around Catalonia, who send in images of the elements collected as part of the initiative. Members of the public and organisations can make their contributions by sending photographs of the elements in question along with the required details via the online form, or otherwise by using the #museualcarrer tag on Twitter and Instagram.