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UCL Culture Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


Do you need a PhD to be a curator?

By Nick J Booth, on 25 November 2014

During the ever excellent ‘Ask a Curator Day’ (search #AskACurator on twitter) I noticed a number of questions along the lines of ‘How do I become a curator’ / ‘what qualifications do I need to become a curator’. Many asked about whether a Masters in museum studies is sufficient. This is an ongoing debate on this blog and I suspect the question has no firm answer; however one response to this question from a national museum here in the UK caught my eye…

‘Museum Studies graduates do find curator jobs but increasingly employers are looking for PhD training in a speciality area.”

A photo of a man in a suit and glasses blanacing one legged on a table

Once upon a time this was
the first Google Images result for ‘Curator’.

This is an interesting answer, and I am sure it is correct for national museums (or that one in particular at least), however I do not believe that it is correct for many, or even most, jobs with ‘curator’ in the title. So I thought I would briefly go through my experiences of the word ‘curator’ and what I perceive it to mean in the different areas of the museum world.


11 Museum Blogger Questions for #MuseumWeek

By Emma-Louise Nicholls, on 1 April 2014

best-blogI am excited to have been asked to join in the ’11 Museum Blogger Questions’ extravaganza that is currently entertaining museum audiences and professionals (and those who are both) across the web. I was nominated by Jake McGowan-Lowe, author of Jake’s Bones, and you can read his answers here.

1. Who are you and what do you blog about?

I have the honour and hard work of being the Curatorial Assistant at the Grant Museum of Zoology. Through the Museum website I write many blogs that can be roughly divided into the fabulous weekly Specimen of the Week and one off blogs that cover a wide range of things from difficult and controversial subjects, through a weird phase of museum pest fascination, for example, to mildly satirical articles with a thin veil of museum research. (more…)