Where to begin…..at the beginning?

Hello and welcome to my blog…

In essence what I hope it will be about is everything museum. So where to begin….I was thinking how to start and I wondered how important it is to begin at the beginning – who I am? and why I want to do this?

In the last three months I have been to three very different museums, the British Museum, the Donald McGill Postcard Museum and the Sir John Soane’s Museum. On my visits did I begin at the beginning of each place? Do museums ever have a beginning, middle and an end?

At the British Museum I visited the “Shakespeare: staging the world” exhibition, one section in what is a massive collection. Did I get a sense of the museum in that one place? The Soane’s Museum, where every room is completely different and yet you feel the essence of where you are in every atmospheric room. But it is the postcard museum that tells the best story, such a small space and yet every part from floor to ceiling (including the ceiling), wall and columns all speak to you about where you are and why you are there. How do you give the visitor the essence of who you are in one visit?

I want to say I am an ex-librarian but I think I know I will always be a librarian at heart. Whenever I go round the British Museum exhibition space I am always thinking of the library behind the walls and that in itself says a lot. I have worked in many types of libraries, public, media, law and higher education. So why now museums?

I, like many museum lovers, went with my parents as a child to many museums and have very fond memories, in particular of the Horniman Museum. When working one stressful day in the media library, I took myself off to the British Museum and found myself following a lunchtime talk on Greek vases. As a history graduate it fascinated and calmed me in a surprising way. As a parent of three children I now take my three kids round various museums. But it was as a volunteer ‘family judge’ for Kids in Museums that I started thinking about things in a new light.

Watching my children go round the Museum of London, it was fascinating to see what they wanted to touch, see, talk about, and how they reacted to the exhibits. What I was able to take in whilst taking the kids round brought museums very much into focus for me and gave me a new found passion and enthusiasm which I suspect had always been there all along.

So now I am throwing myself into the world of museums – a volunteer in my local museum, a museum visitor and museum lover. I hope one day to be a museum student. I am not sure if I am at the beginning but just as when you visit a museum you have to start somewhere. So this shall be my start and I hope you enjoy the visit!

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