Talking Memory

Primary Investigators:


talking memory

Dr Jim Harris

Teaching Curator, Ashmolean Museum 

Alexis Gorby

DPhil Student

School of Archaeology


Partner Organisations:

Ashmolean Museum  

Ashmolean PER Research Associates:

Irene Echeverria-Altuna

DPhil student

Hanna Smyth

Public Engagement Officer

Connie Sjödin

DPhil student

About the project:

Early-career researchers from the University of Oxford are digging out the memories of objects at the Ashmolean Museum to bring to the fore the memories of some of our older visitors. Talking Memory connects the role of museums as repositories of memories with their role as spaces of social care. By examining the theme of memory with an interdisciplinary cohort early-career researchers, the Ashmolean PER Associates, and older adults, Talking Memory offers an opportunity to foster meaningful encounters between current Oxford research, museum collections, and the public.

Applying their diverse expertise to the Museum's collections, the Ashmolean PER Associates will deliver a series of public events to be held in the Summer of 2022. At each, our guests will hear new research, relax over tea, remember their own narratives, be creative, and make new memories. The event’s combination of gallery talks, informal discussions, and art projects is designed to promote mental wellbeing among one of the Ashmolean’s most important audiences. The aim will be to spark conversation, imagination, and community, making a visit to the Museum an opportunity to be sociable, thoughtful, and creative. With each event, the Talking Memory team uses the Museum to show how the past, both material and immaterial, can be a powerful aid to wellbeing in the present.


Jim Harris


Alexis Gorby





Talking Memory has received the additional support from the Wellcome’s institutional Strategic Support Fund as part of Oxford’s PER Seed Fund.





Part of the Humanities Cultural Programme, one of the founding stones for the

future Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities.