Since this is my first blog post since arriving at Manchester Museum at the beginning of March I thought I’d tell you a little bit about what I’m actually doing here…
For the last six months I have been working as a trainee curator in the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan at the British Museum, as part of the HLF-funded Future Curators programme. During this time I worked with Derek Welsby, Assistant Keeper and Curator of Sudanese Archaeology, focussing on the documentation and presentation of the Sudanese collection and taking part in many varied activities including school sessions, gallery talks, exhibitions and community events. There was also the occasional, more unusual task, such as helping with the design of the Egyptian-themed Christmas decorations for the Great Court, something which you certainly don’t get to do everyday!
This prepared me well for the second part of the programme: spending 12 months training at a UK Partner museum. Manchester Museum was chosen as the host museum for an Egyptology trainee and I am very lucky to have the opportunity to work with such an important and fascinating Egyptology collection. So far I’ve assisted with the documentation and exhibition of the Egyptian objects as well as a wide variety of other tasks including helping with Egyptology-themed events for both adults and children – one of the most memorable being the ‘Museum Meets’ Hieroglyphs Study Day in March, when I helped the group translate hieroglyphic inscriptions on objects in the Ancient Worlds gallery for themselves. I even have the opportunity to help out on the Museum allotment – today we are hopefully planting potatoes!
It is a great privilege to be a ‘Future Curator’ since there are very few other opportunities to be able to work so closely with and learn from such fantastic people and collections, and I look forward to the challenges which I’m sure the next year will bring during my traineeship.
More from Anna soon!