Guest post by Niamh Parker of Samuel Whitbread Academy
During my week spent in the North Herts Museum, I ended up finding myself in a wide variety of all the different roles that keep the museum running. Roles in a museum can range from things you would usually expect such as archiving objects or setting up displays, or lesser-known jobs such as accessioning (making something an official museum object), something I didn’t even know existed until I had a go at it! In my time here I helped set up a display, learnt how ehive (the museum’s object database) works, archived some objects, helped with accessioning, created a social media post, learnt about what goes on at the front desk and created a quiz about the museum for a group of scouts.
My favourite aspect of working at the museum has been the overwhelming sense of community I’ve felt being here. A memory I will always treasure is getting to show a display I helped set up about the life of a lady named Pauline, who was a WRVS worker, to her son. Seeing how much our display meant to him and hearing him say how proud his mum would be of it meant so much to me. I’ve also loved hearing about the lives and journeys of all the staff here at the museum; it has given me a real glimpse at the sort of places I want my life to take me.
To any students even remotely interested in history, whether you take it as a subject or just enjoy it as a hobby, I cannot recommend this experience enough. I’ve loved every part of it, and really wish I could stay here for 10 more weeks and beyond. Every single role has been fascinating to learn about, even more so to take part in. There is so much more to this museum than you’d ever think beyond just the exhibits.
Guest post by Alice Rogers and Himani Sidhu work experience students from Knights Templar School, Baldock
We came here for work experience, and we had a great time! We have been given valuable life lessons by the beyond friendly workers at the museum. We have learnt lots about the area we have grown up in that we didn’t know prior to our visit. As part of our experience, we have been able to help with a new display, create top trumps cards, learnt how to catalogue items, went around town to promote a new exhibit and many other things.
We were asked by the museum staff to select our favourite display; we chose the suffragettes. This display includes letters to suffragettes, notably one from Christabel Pankhurst, outfits they once wore, badges and much more. It is fascinating to know that there were some of these noble people in this area.
Viewing these exhibits made us realize that there is a lot more significant history in North Herts than we were aware of. We have had an interesting and memorable time working here, an experience we will never forget.
A guest post by Juliette Simpson, work experience student.
For my year 10 work experience, I decided to come to the North Herts Museum in order to see the work it takes to organise a museum and put up the displays, I learnt all this and more.
All the staff were incredibly nice, and I learnt so much history about the area I am from. During my time here I helped with exhibitions, created a trail, logged multiple items and much more. It was a great insight into the world of work and how unpredictable daily life is in museums. It was also very interesting to go through things like documents that are hundreds of years old as well as explore the museum and its artifacts. Ultimately, I have really enjoyed my time here and will take the skills and knowledge I have acquired with me for the rest of my life.