Hi, I’m Emily, an early museum professional, documentary enthusiast, proud feminist and David Attenborough lover.
Museum Musings is my first solo blogging project and I’m excited to document the museum experiences I have, the stories I learn through exhibitions, events and programming as well as the challenges I have seen within the heritage sector. As an EMP I am on an exciting journey, developing my skills in the heritage sector, learning a lot of new ways of thinking (and reinforcing how not to!), as well as allowing me to see some of the most beautiful, inspiring and thought-provoking exhibits and places I have ever seen.
My first few entries will look at my museum journey so far and some of the exciting projects I have been involved with over the past 3 years.
My museum journey began in 2015 when I joined Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service (CIMS) as part of the first cohort of the Training Museum; a programme funded by Arts Council England with the primary aim of diversifying the CIMS workforce.
Rewind to October 2015, I was unemployed after deciding not to return to university to do my Teaching degree. It was a massive decision to make as I’d wanted to be a teacher for such a long time and all work experience, employment and volunteering I had done up until then had been with the aim with pursuing a teaching career. So deciding not to continue this career was a tough one but I’m so bloomin’ glad I did!
The interview process for the traineeship was a strenuous one but after submitting a written application, doing a video interview and participating in a group assessment day, I somehow got one of the 6 positions available. The traineeship was a way to diversify the the museum services workforce, with the trainees there to bring new ideas, different experiences and a variety of skillsets to the team, an idea that is something that needs to be rolled out throughout the whole sector. Over the year was based at Ipswich Museums, working across their 3 sites: Ipswich Museum, Christchurch Mansion and Ipswich Art Gallery.
Throughout the traineeship I worked on some incredible projects including reinterpreting the Victorian Gallery, co-curating a Battle of the Somme display and re-designing a museum trail alongside delivering a Supplementary Schools programme, presenting at two major conferences and working visitor service shifts at the 3 museum sites.
Each week I also attended in-house training with taught me fundamental museum skills including object handling & packing, documentation essentials, marking & labelling, fundraising, museum audiences,
My year on the Training Museum taught me so much and I am so proud that I was part of the first cohort that (I hope) helped to shape the way that CIMS recruits its staff, the programming they plan and potentially influence the ways that different skills are viewed within the museum sector.
I am looking forward to developing my career in the heritage sector, particularly museums and documenting the exhibitions, events and buildings I visit along the way!
Ciao for now.