I’m writing this from Edinburgh on a day off visiting friends. This afternoon I’ll go to the Museum of Scotland to meet a friend who works there, and tomorrow head back to Manchester.
Work at the Museum has been focussed on developing content ideas for the new Ancient Worlds galleries. I created a first draft of a key object list of the Egyptian and Sudanese material, which has gone to the designers, Opera, who are based in Amsterdam, in advance of our next meeting with them on December 16th. Last week I was in London for a couple of days, and I gave a presentation at the British Museum on the Manchester Museum’s international strategy, as part of the International Training Programme which brings curators to the UK from all over the world to learn curatorial skills at the British Museum and a regional institution, of which Manchester is one. I talked about the work of my colleagues, such as Dr Dmitri Lugonov, chasing jumping spiders in Siberia, and Andrew Gray, breeding rare and endangered species of frogs at the Manchester Museum, as well as insitutional initiatives, such as links with Wuhan Museum in China. That evening was the book launch for my book, Soldiers, Sailors and Sandalmakers, at the EES offices in London, which was great fun (and thank you to everyone who came). The following day I attended the second day of a conference on Curators and Communities, at the Horniman Museum, organised by Wayne Modest, the Anthropology curator there, and Viv Golding from Leicester University.
This week I led a seminar with the Salford University Museum Studies students on ethics, displays and human remains, met with my PhD student, and had a second meeting with the Manchester University Museum Studies students who are on a placement project at the Museum. Their project is to develop the content for a display about the lives of two individuals, one living in Roman Egypt and one living in Roman Manchester, which will feed into the content for the Ancient Worlds Galleries.
Two more weeks of term and then things will quieten down!