Museums and Galleries – Top Tips for You!

This week we’re very pleased to feature another guest post on the blog!  Many thanks to my colleague Lindsey Farquharson who sourced this great post from Diana Morton of Edinburgh Museums and Galleries.  If you’re interested in the museums and galleries sector then this post is essential reading with lots of great tips and advice on getting in to the sector – Rebecca

I’m Diana Morton, Outreach & Access Manager with Edinburgh Museums & Galleries (part of the City of Edinburgh Council). Today I wanted to talk about the work I do and how to find out more about careers in the museums sector.

Firstly, a bit about my work – I run the Outreach Service. The Outreach Service takes the museums out into the community with the aim of engaging with those who, for whatever reason, do not already access our services.

In practice, this involves developing and delivering a range of activities and resources. These include running art, object handling and reminiscence sessions with community groups, setting up longer term projects, developing partnerships with other organisations and developing community displays. However, it isn’t all about working with groups directly, I also need to write strategies and make plans, arrange logistics and write reports.

You can find out more about what I do on my blog: https://edinburghmuseumsoutreach.wordpress.com/

So how do you start a career in museums?

My top tips are:

Visit museums yourself, talk to staff and learn more about the museums sector. Also research the different types of job that exist in museums. Are you interested in outreach, education or collections based work? Remember, not everyone who works in a museum is a curator, maybe you would prefer a job in retail, fundraising, marketing or even in management?

The Museums Association website has good resources on different types of museum jobs and entry requirements (http://www.museumsassociation.org/careers). Many people working in museums have a postgraduate in Museum Studies. This is not necessarily essential, but can be helpful getting that first job.

My main advice would be to volunteer. This enables you to get a real experience of the world of museum work, build contacts and try out different roles.  Do choose placements carefully. Volunteer placements can vary vastly in time commitment, support available and the tasks you may be asked to do. Find something which helps you to meet your goals and that you enjoy!

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