It was Summer 2012, the stars aligned, the reasons were right, and I quit work as a Librarian at a London university. To cut a long story short, in October 2012 I started volunteering at my local museum in Bromley, this led on to a volunteer project with the Museum of London, and as of March 2014, I became a permanent collection care volunteer with them.
When I quit work, in my head I was going to blog this “Brave New World” and everything was going to be lovely. I posted nothing for months and months, but hands on archaeology at the Museum of London proved to be my inspiration and I haven’t stopped writing since. I wrote a post about the ‘Early Birds’ autism friendly mornings at the Science Museum, the response was overwhelming and it has become my passion to make museums more accessible for autistic children. I now also tweet about autism events in museums @AutisminMuseums
With this in mind, in February 2014 I joined the Horniman Museum as a volunteer on their Access Advisory Group which helps to make the museum more accessible. In 2016 I also joined the Globe Theatre’s Access Panel to see how museums and theatres can learn from each other.
From November 2014 – January 2015 I became the Blogger-in-Residence for the RAF Museum’s new exhibition – The First World War in the Air. It was a fantastic opportunity to write about challenging aspects of our past. The exhibition also went on to win an National Lottery Award for ‘Best Heritage Project’.
2017 has been a memorable year and I was thrilled to win London Volunteering In Museums Award (LVMA) for ‘Going the Extra Mile’ for my autism in museums work. Working on a fantastic project with young autistic adults at the Museum of London has been a highlight as was winning ‘Museum of London Volunteer of the Year’. I am not sure where I go from here!
I write about everything museum! Autism in museums, the work I do as a volunteer in museums and reviews of exhibitions. I write with my thoughts and my feelings, I love every minute of it and I hope you will enjoy reading my blogs as much as I enjoy writing them.
You can contact me on Twitter @TinctureOfMuse or by email
Conferences and talks –
Madge, C. and Creighton, L. (2017) Making a difference for autistic young adults, Society of Museum Archaeology (SMA) Conference 2-3rd November, Sheffield.
Madge, C. (2017) Autism in Museums, Association of European Jewish Museums (AEJM), Museum education study trip, 11-13th September, Jewish Museum, London.
Madge, C. (2017) Autism in Museums, Visitor Experience Forum (VEF), Visitor Experience Seminar, 4th August, Museum of London, London.
Madge, C. (2017) Autism in Museums, Kids in Museums Carnival, 10 January 2017, Tate Modern, London.
Madge, C. (2017) Autism in Museums, Museums Showoff, 24th January 2017, The Phoenix, London.
Madge, C. (2016) Autism in Museums, Kids in Museums, Welcoming Families with Autism Workshop, 9 February 2016, Science Museum, London.
Madge, C. (2015) Blogging, Museum of London, Beyond digging: Opening up archaeological collections, April 2015, Museum of London, London.
You can find out more about why I blog and how I started by reading the blogs below –
May 2016 – “The Bloggers” – Museums Association Journal, Issue 116/5, pg 26-31
January 2015 – “Meet the Museum Volunteer” for Museum of London –
March 2014 – “Meet a Museum Blogger “ for Museum Minute –
February 2014 – “From books to bones” for London Museums Group –
Further reading – Blogs and publications
1 March 2017 – The Museum Blog Book, Museums Etc https://museumsetc.com/products/the-museum-blog-book
26 March 2016 – Volunteering kept me going now austerity has killed my museum – Guardian Newspaper Online – http://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2016/mar/26/volunteers-museums-job-cuts-community
May 2016 – Autism in Museums for Network Autism – best practice
March 2016 – Review of a relaxed performance of Twelfth Night at the Globe for Kids in Museums http://kidsinmuseums.org.uk/2016/03/10/a-relaxed-performance-of-twelfth-night-the-globe-theatre-london/
September 2015 – “The time is right to rethink disabled access” for Museums Association – Comment http://www.museumsassociation.org/comment/22092015-the-time-is-right-to-rethink-disabled-access
August 2014 – “A Trip to the London Science Museum” Autistic Spectrum Digest, Issue 10. Subscription, you can buy individual copies on Apple iTunes or via Android App http://asdigest.com
July 2014 – “Accessing art: SEN family workshops” for Royal Academy of Artshttp://www.royalacademy.org.uk/article/239
Spring/Summer 2014 – “Tripping the Light Fantastic” pg18-19, Can Play, Will Play. Connected Magazine published by Contact a Family
June 2014 – “Autism in Museums” interview for Natural Sciences Collection Association (NatSCA) – http://naturalsciencecollections.wordpress.com/2014/06/19/autism-and-museums/
April 2014 – “How do you welcome Autism into your Museum?” for Association of Independent Museums (AIM) – http://aimuseums.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/how-do-you-welcome-autism-into-your-museum/
February 2014 – “10 tips on running an autism-friendly event – lessons learned from the Science Museum” for Ambitious About Autism https://www.facebook.com/ambitiousaboutautism/posts/747777648608849
October 2013 – “Science Museum Early Bird Autism Session” interview with Jo Worgan for Autism Daily NewsCast http://www.autismdailynewscast.com/the-science-museum-early-bird-autism-session/3867/joworgan/