Ask a Curator day 2014
By Meg J Dobson, on 16 September 2014
On Wednesday 17th September UCL Museums will be taking part in the Ask A Curator Day event on twitter. This event is growing year on year, and at the time of writing, this week’s event has 520 museums taking part from 36 countries. We know that asking a question in a museum can sometimes feel intimidating, and that we curators can sometimes be hard to track down. There’s so much to do that we aren’t always the most available group of people (though we really do try). We are taking part in the day as part of our commitment to make our collections as accessible as possible.
Ask A Curator works like this. Anyone in the world with a twitter account can tweet a question with the #AskACurator hashtag, and it will be answered by any of the institutions taking part. If you have a specific question for us you can tweet it directly to us @UCLMuseums and one of our staff will do their best to answer you. The Grant Museum of Zoology is taking part using @GrantMuseum, as is the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology on @PetrieMuseEgypt.
In preparation for this I thought I would introduce you to our members of staff taking part…
Jack Ashby – Jack is the Manager of the Grant Museum of Zoology. He is responsible for the strategic direction of the Museum, as well as managing the Museum’s resources. Much of his time is spent on creating opportunities for the public to engage with research going on at UCL. A zoologist by training with a particular interest in Australian mammals, he still spends as much time as he can in the field. He’ll be taking questions via @GrantMuseum throughout the day and from the @UCLMuseums account from 12 – 1 pm.
Mark Carnall – Mark is the Curator of the Grant Museum of Zoology and the 67,000 specimens held there. Since arriving at the Grant Museum in 2004 he has been working to document and conserve the zoological and palaeontological collections, as well as making the collections more available to audiences through the internet and through public engagement work. Aside from curatorial responsibilities, he also lectures Museum Studies students at UCL. Mark will be tweeting from @GrantMuseum.
Nick Booth – Nick is one of two Teaching and Research Curators at UCL, responsible for looking after the collections that don’t have a large public space. He is primarily responsible for caring for the Science and Engineering Collections (including Geology) as well as the auto-icon of Jeremy Bentham. He has been working in museums for about 5 years, having previously worked in a small local authority museum. Nick will be answering questions via @UCLMuseums.
Susie Chan – Susie is UCL’s Exhibitions Manager, and is responsible for scheduling and coordinating all the exhibitions around campus. She has been at UCL for 5 years, prior to which she worked at the Hayward Gallery, installing contemporary art exhibitions, and the British Museum, looking after the Department of Asia collections, galleries and exhibitions. Susie will be tweeting from @UCLMuseums and answering questions between 11 -12 am.
Subhadra Das – Subhadra is our second Teaching and Research Curator, working alongside Nick. She is the primary contact for UCL Pathology Collections and the Galton Collection, and has worked for UCL Museums & Collections since 2005, starting out as museum trainee at the Petrie Museum following her MA in Museum Studies at UCL. Subhadra will be tweeting from the @UCLMuseums profile from 2 – 3 pm.
Alice Stevenson – Alice is the Curator of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, after four years as Researcher in World Archaeology in the Pitt Rivers Museum at the University of Oxford. She curates a collection of some 80,000 objects from Egypt and Sudan that date from the Palaeolithic through to modern times. She will be available to answer questions between 10 – 11 am and 3 – 4 pm on the day, and will be taking questions via @PetrieMuseEgypt.
So if you would like to get involved and ask any of us a question you can tweet us @UCLMuseums, @GrantMuseum or @PetrieMuseEgypt, or use the #AskACurator hashtag.
Meg Dobson is the Marketing Manager for UCL’s Public and Cultural Engagement department.