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10th anniversary of Ningbo Museum
2018-12-09Text Size: A A A

Ten years have passed since Ningbo Museum was officially opened to the public on December 5, 2008. The past decade witnessed the development of a city, the growth of a museum, and people’s enriched cultural life.

■Young national first class museum

On February 27th, 2010, the eve of Lantern Festival, Ningbo Museum welcomed the 1,000,000th visitor, just a year and three months since its opening. Since August 1998, the construction of Ningbo Museum has been included in the “Ninth Five-Year Cultural Development Plan”. In 2000, Ningbo Museum Construction Project was listed as one of the eight cultural facilities by Ningbo Municipal Party Committee and Municipal Government. In November 2004, the construction was officially started. Ningbo Museum covers an area of 40,000 square meters and has a construction scale of 25,000 square meters. By the end of 2008, Ningbo had the first comprehensive historical museum with regional characteristics and was open to the public free of charge.

In 2009, the large-scale TV documentary "the 60th Anniversary of New China's Cultural Relics Protection" featured Ningbo Museum as an innovative case of the Chinese museum's "quantity-to-quality" transformation in the new era, which was just opened for less than a year. At the end of the year, the Secretariat of the Volunteer Committee of China Museum Association settled in Ningbo Museum, the first time for the Secretariat of China Museum Association to settle in a non-provincial or state museum; In 2011, the “Maritime Silk Road Research Center” was established in cooperation with the Institute of History of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, marking the completion of the first national academic platform in the field of “Maritime Silk Road” research by local museums and Chinese authoritative academic institutions.

By 2012, Ningbo Museum had successfully become a national first-class museum. The former director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage once commented that the construction model of Ningbo Museum fully reflects the wisdom and creation of the modern city in cultural industry, and it explores a new way for the museum industry to change from quantitative to qualitative, a very rare reference to the scientific development of the modern museum industry in China.


Although Ningbo Museum is young, it has been growing rapidly. With its high-quality exhibition resources and high-quality public services, Ningbo Museum has deeply integrated itself into the life of the public and mobilized visitors’ enthusiasm. Each year, 10 to 20 special exhibitions are transformed from supply-oriented to demand-first, from the introduction of mature exhibitions to the introduction of exhibition resources. In September 2012, Ningbo Museum conducted a questionnaire survey covering 100,000 people. There was only one question: What exhibition do you want to see? Interviewees could answer the question either in paper or through Internet. The survey helps Ningbo Museum to know better about people’s interest in the special exhibitions, which will be an important reference for the following exhibitions.

As of 2012, Ningbo Museum made a dual “five-one” policy, namely: an annual inbound and outbound exhibition, a domestic exhibition, a domestic joint exhibition, a professional exhibition, and a children's exhibition. The exhibition system is more complete and unified, with more exhibition themes and richer exhibition performance, to meet the different needs of people with different interests, education backgrounds, and ages. For temporary exhibitions, the museum will “plan an exhibition, develop a set of products, produce a catalogue, conduct an event, and hold an academic lecture”. In recent years, the exhibition “language” has become more diverse. From 2017 to 2018, a series of exhibitions with the theme of “Silk Road” have impressed many viewers. The exhibition hall uses Internet + thinking in its design, adding digital cultural experience products to the exhibition. Through the process of display, competition, game, and interaction, information sharing, experience sharing and content construction was realized between different exhibits, exhibitors and visitors.

■Shared Innovative Museum

On May 18, 2014, at the host city celebration during "5.18 International Museum Day" held in Nanjing, Ningbo Museum, together with Palace Museum and Nanjing Museum jointly, won the title of "2014 National Most Innovative Museum" for participating in people’s life.

The director of Ningbo Museum said that the museum is a miniature of a city’s culture and history. So, it is necessary to make the museum noble and down-to-earth, letting the public enjoy the excellent culture in a quiet way. In the past decade, Ningbo Museum has been open for free, with an average of more than one million visitors per year. So far, tens of millions of viewers have visited Ningbo Museum and had a good time there. To help visitors better understand the exhibition and let more people share this cultural space and cultural connotations, Ningbo Museum launched “Weekly Free Guide” service in March 2013, then expanded to daily free. Free guide service twice a day has lasted till present and are welcomed by the visitors.

Numerous visitors have walked into the museum, sharing exhibitions, resources, and cultural heritage, as well as sharing services, fun, and life. And there are a special group of visitors who grow up with the museum. They not only share, but also make their efforts to promote the rapid growth of the museum –the volunteer team of Ningbo Museum.

The team had been formed in as early as December 2008, before the opening of Ningbo Museum. Volunteers from all walks of life, after systematic assessment and training in the museum, work in different positions such as guide, consulting, paperwork, event organization, design, etc. So far, there is nearly a thousand volunteer in the team. They are active in all aspects of museum work.

Volunteers are the most loyal visitors of the museum and the best communicator of the museum culture.

In 2009, led by Ningbo Museum, the Volunteer Work Committee of China Museum Association was established, aiming to strengthen and promote the close ties between museum volunteers, museums, museum experts and museum staff.

Ningbo Museum not only took the lead in organizing the team building, but also held the annual meeting of the Volunteer Work Committee for many years, and the selection of “Top Ten Volunteers of Chinese Museums”. From one hall to multiple pavilions, volunteer work allows the sharing of culture to go further and wider.

■ Evolutionary Brand Museum

In the past ten years, more than 100 exhibitions and tens of thousands of exhibits have impressed visitors, and the museum's diverse brand activities have accompanied the visitors in the past years. With the goal of “there will be activities every week, lectures every month, and innovations every year”, Ningbo Museum has held more than 500 exploration experiences for adolescents every week, from exhibitions, nature to traditional culture. The museum and school cooperation course for high school--History in Museum--was awarded 2015 " Excellent Social Practice Class of Ningbo Primary and Secondary Schools".

The Oriental Forum is the "Second Classroom" of Ningbo Museum, which has held more than 100 lectures, with an audience of over 20,000 people. At the same time, Ningbo Museum pays attention to the vulnerable groups. In 2016, it proposed the “Public Welfare Service Day”, and actively organized and arranged community disabled people and left-behind children to visit and study. It also provided targeted services and guidance. On average, it has organized more than 10 such public welfare activities every year. In 2017, in order to better serve the adult visitors, “Good times of Ningbo Museum” was launched to make full use of the exhibition space to carry out activities in a small and beautiful form through tea parties, exchanges and exhibitions. In recent years, technologies such as AR, VR, and QR code scanning have also been used in Ningbo Museum. Through WeChat, Weibo, and online live broadcast platforms, the museum has broken the limits of geography and time, expanded the scope of visitors, and enable the visitors to be close to the cultural relics.

It is easy for us to imagine a day of a visitor in Ningbo Museum. He can see exhibitions of high-quality collections from major museums in China and abroad. He can also listen to lectures by professional scholars in the Academic Lecture Hall. When walking in the pavilion, he may encounter friendly volunteers who will explain and exchange views on the history of the city. When you are tired, you can sit in the cafe for a while and where you may meet photography lovers. You may learn how to take photos...This kind of life, which is closely related to the museum, is becoming a routine for more and more people.

Through high-quality public service and rich educational activities, Ningbo Museum is closer to the public. In 2018, Ningbo Museum ranks first in the “Ningbo Public Service Brand List”, which shows Ningbo Museum has gained recognition.

In the past ten years, Ningbo Museum has held rich exhibitions, diverse activities, used new technologies, and created visit spaces to involve more people in the museum, feeling the cultural atmosphere, experiencing a cultural journey, and sharing rich cultural achievements. The past decade has also witnessed the leap-forward development of the museum, reflecting the development of Ningbo's cultural and museum industry. This 10 –year old building, a carrier of history and and an integration of urban life and culture, will have a bright future in the next decade or 50 years.

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