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UCL Special Collections


Updates from one of the foremost university collections of manuscripts, archives and rare books in the UK


The New Curators Project 2022

By Vicky A Price, on 15 December 2021

Applications are now closed for 2022, but recruitment will begin for 2023’s The New Curators Project in December 2022.  If you would like to register your interest before this date (and receive an email notification when applications open), please go to this page.

The New Curators Project is an annual programme run by UCL Special Collections and Newham Heritage Month. It offers 10 young adults in East London the chance to develop the skills and experience needed to start a career in the cultural heritage sector.

Apply now!

Three young adults stand in front of pop-up banners in a library. They are smiling and look proud.

Three participants from 2021’s The New Curators Project stand in front of the exhibition they created in East Ham Library.

What is Cultural Heritage?

The cultural heritage field is an area of work focused on preserving history and culture and making it available to the general public. Among other things, it includes:

  • Museums.
  • Arts organisations and charities.
  • Libraries and Archives.
  • Historic Buildings and heritage sites.
  • Archaeology.

What will the project entail? 

Successful applicants will receive training from industry experts in key areas such as: 

  • Carrying out historical research. 
  • Using archives. 
  • Creating an exhibition.  
  • Running events. 
  • Communications in the cultural heritage sector. 

Participants will gain real work experience by creating an exhibition for Newham Heritage Month using historical material from UCL Special Collections, the Archives and Local Studies Library in Stratford and beyond.

The programme also offers employment support such as advice on applying for jobs, writing applications and being interviewed.

Participants will receive a £200 bursary, paid in instalments, to support their attendance.

Who can apply?

Applications are open to people who:

  • Are aged 18 to 24 at the time of making their application.
  • Are living, studying or working in Newham, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.
  • Are not a university graduate or currently studying at university.
  • Have less than 6 months paid experience in the cultural heritage sector.

As this project is a part of Newham Heritage Month, there are 5 places available to individuals who live, work or study in the borough of Newham. The remaining 5 places are available to those who live, work or study in Tower Hamlets, Hackney or Waltham Forest.

When and where is it happening?

Workshops will be on Tuesday evenings from 6pm to 8pm, beginning on 8th March 2022 and ending 28th June 2022. They will take place face to face (Covid-19 restrictions allowing) in an accessible building in Canning Town, with some additional online calls.

Do applicants need to have any specific A Levels or GCSEs?

Absolutely not. We want to recruit participants who have a passion for local history, regardless of their qualifications.

How do I apply?

You can apply online via our online form. If you have difficulty using the form, please send us an email and we can find an alternative way for you to apply.

The deadline for applications has been extended till 4 March 2022.

A student looks for resources in a library. Shelves laden with colourful books line the edges of the photograph as she reads a book.

Part of The New Curators Project will entail carrying out research to create an exhibition.

Delivered in partnership with Newham Heritage Month.  We are delighted to report that this year’s New Curators Project is supported by Foundation for Future London.

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