Talking to museum staff over the last few years it always amazes me how many diverse paths can be taken to end up working in museums. I was always interested in history. It was my favourite subject at school and I followed it through to university where I got a BA in History and an MA in Historical Studies. When I left university I was unsure exactly what I wanted to do, mainly because I couldn’t decide between museums or archives. This lack of direction didn’t matter because I was unable to get a job in either sector for three and a half years.

My first ‘break’ was as a volunteer at the Museum of London Docklands on their summer exhibition. The Big Dig was a mock archaeological dig where families could discover Roman Archaeology and a dig site based on a real London excavation. It was a fabulous experience and made me realise how much I wanted to work in museums. When I returned home though, I managed to get a volunteer placement at the Everton Archive in Liverpool. There I proof-read transcripts of the Minute Books before they were uploaded onto the web. Whilst there I also became a Collections Care Volunteer at the Botanic Gardens Museum in Churchtown. This was a fantastic placement and it enabled me to attend many free training days on collection management and I managed to get a place on a course at Staffordshire University on The Working Environment – Heritage and Culture. I also did a two week internship at Liverpool University digitising glass plate negatives in the John Garstang collection.

I obviously gained lots of museum experience but ‘where’s the ceramics’ I hear you cry! I dealt briefly with ceramics in my position at the Botanic Gardens but hadn’t really thought of them as a museum discipline on their own. I have collected ceramics since I was young, mainly in the form of Royal Doulton Bunnykins. I also inherited some lovely pieces from my grandparents which I researched. When I saw this traineeship advertised it seemed like a perfect opportunity to gain curatorial skills whilst learning more about a subject I was already interested in.

Update:

Although the traineeship has ended and I am continuing to pursue a career in museums, I hope everyone continues to enjoy my blog.