Tim Koch writes from London:
I have recently started working for a few days a month at Henley’s River and Rowing Museum as a volunteer. Having access to the treasures of the place is obviously very exciting for anyone interested in rowing history and, for all those who enjoy ‘Hear The Boat Sing’, a visit to the museum is clearly a must. While 120,000 people a year visit the permanent galleries and exhibitions, Henley-on-Thames is not easily accessible for everyone, especially those living abroad. Also, even if you can get to the RRM, like all museums it cannot possibly display all the objects, books, photographs, films and documents that it owns. As its website says:
The Museum has nearly 20,000 objects in its collection. They include 5,000 photographs, 400 posters, and 650 trophies and medals. Many items can be seen in our permanent galleries but many are currently in storage.
Fortunately, logging onto www.rrm.co.uk can go a long way to overcoming these geographical and display problems as much of the museum’s collection can be viewed online. In the ‘Explore the Collection’ section of the website you can either use the ‘keyword search’ for a specific interest or you can click on one of the ‘group collections’ covering subjects such as rowing, art, the river, medals and trophies, and photographs. Hopefully this ‘virtual tour’ will inspire even more people to make the journey to see the real thing.