Lucy Timbrell: Collections Volunteer at the Garstang Museum of Archaeology and Evolutionary Anthropology student at the University of Liverpool.
When I first started my placement at the Garstang Museum I had no idea what to expect. The museum’s collection is filled with objects from Ancient Egypt, the Mediterranean, and the Ancient Near East. These are cultures that, until now, I have not had the chance to study.
When thinking of museums, people picture the exhibitions and artefacts, but there is a lot more that goes on behind the scenes. I had a lot of learning to do and I was keen to find out more.
Based at the University of Liverpool, the Garstang Museum is a teaching museum, and our collections are used to teach a variety of classes. A big part of a volunteer’s job is to locate and move objects that are being used for classes and lectures, or examined by academics. Volunteers locate objects using a database, before moving them from the stores to the teaching room where they can be easily accessed. This can mean heavy lifting – definitely not my forte – and carefully manoeuvring awkwardly shaped objects around the university.
The Garstang museum has been getting ready for our Book of the Dead exhibition. The exhibition centres on Ancient Egyptian Papyri that describe the journey to the Afterlife and will be opening for Light Night on the 19th May. This has created a lot of opportunities to get involved with. Volunteers have been designing promotional artwork for posters banners and flyers, as well as using social media to invite people to our exhibition, as well as preparing objects for conservation and display.
Other volunteers offer interesting tours of the Garstang Museum, and I was very kindly given a tour myself. Most of the volunteers here are masters and PhD students so they are very knowledgeable!
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Garstang and the variety that each day working in a museum brings.