I have been volunteering at the Nuneaton Museum and Art Gallery for the past three weeks and unfortunately Thursday was my last day. The team here have been so helpful in getting me experience in every aspect of the Museum, from exhibition work to developing questionnaires, so I thought I’d write about my experience and all the things they managed to fit into my short stay!
One of the best tasks I was given was documenting and photographing parts of the collection. It gave me great experience with dealing with delicate objects and I was able to handle artefacts that I never thought I would. One of the most interesting pieces I found was a tin helmet from World War One, an object that was surprisingly heavy, and really transported me back in time. I got a slight fright however when I opened a box and found a stuffed mongoose and snake embroiled in a fierce battle! It is definitely a varied collection!
I also had the great opportunity to help Janine, the Museums Collections Officer, dress a mannequin with one of George Eliot’s original dresses. It was slightly nerve racking positioning the dress as it is so delicate but we managed it without any tares or buttons falling off! The Museum do not usually have the original on display because of its poor condition so getting to see it in the George Eliot Gallery was a real treat.
I got to work with Matt, the Learning Officer, to develop new activities for children who visit the Museum. I created a new I Spy worksheet with Melly and Tootles, the Museum’s characters, to get the children looking deeper into some of the galleries. I was also able to help Matt design a new tactile box focused on writing-it will have various objects, sounds and smells all to do with inspirational writing and George Eliot, something to really get you thinking!
Although I spent most of my time behind the scenes I spent one afternoon with two of the front of house team-Linda and Rob. It was great to see what is involved in keeping the galleries running during opening hours, and their knowledge of the collection is brilliant. They make visiting the museum a real pleasure!
I have had a very enjoyable and educational three weeks here at the Museum, with the whole team making me feel welcome. Getting experience in this sector can be hard so I am really thankful-thanks again guys!