My volunteer work at the British Museum

The British Museum is close to King's Strand campus.
By Ciara, Classical Art & Archaeology MA student

One of the highlights during my studies in London has been the opportunity to volunteer at the British Museum in their sculptural storage basements. One of my favourite facts about the British Museum is that only 1% of its collection is on display. Having just started my volunteering at the British Museum, I now have access to a larger percentage than most, focusing on the sculptural storage rooms.

I applied to an internship last summer with the Roman Society, encouraged by my lectures, but was unsuccessful. However, the director of the project noticed I was a King’s student and given the close proximity invited me to meet at the British Museum. We discussed gallery layouts and accessibility, two elements of museum work I am really interested in, and he promised to keep my application on file in case any opportunities became available.

Having had handling classes as part of my modules, I met with the curator at the British Museum responsible for this task. In early January I was contacted to be part of a large-scale project rearranging, cataloguing and documenting the fragments section in the basement of the museum.

Just one of the artefacts I’ve handled at the British Museum.

After the first two weeks we completed the reorganisation of the Knidos collection, moving pieces into numerical order. Next week, we’ll start to photograph the collection and update the individual records for the website. It’s exciting to think that soon these artefacts will be available to everyone to view online!

King’s central London locations means there are loads of opportunities for voluntary experience and internships. Visit the Careers and Employability hub for more details. Thanks to my department’s direct links with the British Museum it only took a few days and a couple of references for me to get involved with something I love.

Find out more about what inspires me most about my postgraduate degree on my blog post.

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