Welcome to Curating Cambridge and to our new space showcasing unique and intriguing high quality gifts inspired by the diverse collections of the University of Cambridge. These collections, housed within the museums and departments of the University, encompass fine art and historical artefacts from through the ages and across the globe, exhibits and specimens from the natural sciences, rare manuscripts, and much more besides. We are delighted to introduce you to our new website and identity, but are also proud of our history trading under a different name. Here is the story of our evolution... The company was founded in 1978 as Fitzwilliam Museum Enterprises and for over 40 years has drawn upon the world class collection of the Fitzwilliam to create beautiful products including stationery and Christmas cards, textiles and homeware, to raise money in support of the museum through the sale of these products. In its earliest incarnation, the company comprised just one table of postcards and catalogues and was situated beneath the architecturally stunning ceiling of the Founder’s entrance. Staff would finish the day and walk out into the streets of Cambridge with a soft layer of loose gold dusting their shoulders from the gilded arches above. The Courtyard Shop at the south entrance of the Fitzwilliam Museum continues this legacy, with a much expanded retail space and offer - although the gold dust is now limited to Christmas time.
In more recent years, we have begun to collaborate with the wider collections of the University of Cambridge, establishing shops at the Botanic Garden, the Museum of Zoology, and in the city centre. This has in turn led to exciting new creative opportunities for us and the development of fantastic bespoke product ranges including the Quentin Blake Cambridge 800, our popular Bee Border designs, and a new ‘Behave Badly’ range to accompany the celebrated Rising Tide exhibition at the University Library. While the Fitzwilliam remains an essential ingredient, our recent collaborations with the wider collections have enabled us to reinvigorate our offer and encourage you to discover new wonders and delights. Little known treasures such as the marvellously bizarre 19th century teaching charts drawn by professor of botany John Stevens Henslow, from the collection of the Whipple Museum, translate wonderfully into home and giftware.
Our new name, Curating Cambridge, reflects our revitalised direction: to find the most exciting and inspiring ideas and images from across the varied collections and to bring these together so that you might choose your favourites. One constant is our ongoing dedication to ensuring that all sales help to fund the work of the collections. Whether you are a new customer or an old friend, we hope you enjoy exploring the new website, and thank you for your continued support.