The Museums Association seminar held on 6th February 2014 was a very good opportunity for museum professionals in the early stages of their career to understand how to move on up, as the title of this one-day conference suggested.
I considered a number of different careers before moving into museum work. All through school I imagined myself becoming a doctor, and I chose my A levels with that in mind. I actually started at Cambridge, but quickly realised it wasn’t for me and moved to Cardiff the following year to start a degree in nursing, thinking this might bring me into closer contact with patients.
I work as a freelance consultant in the South West of England currently as Coordinator for the South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries. Working from home as a freelancer gives a degree of flexibility but can be isolating. This year I have been lucky enough to attend several of the Oxford ASPIRE training workshops which have provided a good opportunity to get out and network. It is also a chance to learn new skills and broaden knowledge of a subject, and learn about what’s going on in the area.
On 20 November 2013, 60 delegates from within roughly a two hour driving radius of Oxford gathered at the Museum of Natural History in Oxford to discuss the management and use of natural history collections in the tongue in cheek named conference Crap in the Attic? In particular the conference was designed to be an opportunity to discuss possible joint solutions to shared problems facing the natural science collections in the region.
At this year's Museums Association conference, ASPIRE pitched and chaired a session on Museum Development, bringing together three MD deliverers from different parts of the country that deliver MD in different ways. The sessions looked at what has been working for regional MD services, where change is needed, and what the future might hold.
This year I was fortunate enough to attend my first Museums Association conference, in Liverpool on 11-12 November. A smorgasbord of thought provoking talks and networking opportunities, the two and a half day conference (including the ‘tweet up' and networking drinks on the Sunday night) have provided inspiration and food for thought.
On 8th October 2013 technical services staff from the four Oxford University Museums and the Bodleian Library came together to recount experiences and discuss opportunities to share training and equipment. As part of this meeting we were treated to a tour of the Pitt Rivers Museum's technical workshop and a glimpse behind the scenes at their current redisplay work.
This summer ASPIRE used their Arts Council funding to support a pilot series of family programming and promotion at the Ashmolean. Using the tagline Friendly, Fun and Free, between 30th July and 30th August this new programme of activity was in addition to the workshops and trails usually run by the Museum’s Education Department over the summer.