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UCL Special Collections


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The New Curators Project 2024 is Open for Applications!

By Vicky A Price, on 4 December 2023

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!

Previous applicants have gone on to work for organisations such as Toynbee Hall, Tate, The Roundhouse and UCL.  It is a friendly, fun way of learning about the cultural heritage field and taking your first steps towards a career in the sector without needing a degree.

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:

Arts organisations and charities.
Libraries and Archives.
Historic Buildings and heritage sites.

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 and campaigns.
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 who attend all the workshops will receive up to £635.

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.

Two young adults and an archivist look at an historical map together in grand surroundings.

Archivist Richard Wiltshire from Tower Hamlets Archive shows participants archival maps and plans.

When and where is it happening?

Workshops will be ‘in person’ on Tuesday evenings from 5pm to 7pm, beginning on March 7 2024 and ending June 18 2024. There will also be three full day workshops on Friday 22 March, Friday 19 April and Friday 14 June.

Workshops will take place at the UCL’s brand new East London campus:

UCL East
E20 2AF

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 (library.spec.coll.ed@ucl.ac.uk) and we can find an alternative way for you to apply.

The application deadline is 8.00pm on Saturday 17 February 2024.

Delivered in partnership with Newham Heritage Month.

4 Responses to “The New Curators Project 2024 is Open for Applications!”

  • 1
    Winslow Green wrote on 17 December 2023:

    Why is this opportunity not being offered to young people in Redbridge?
    Please explain!

  • 2
    Vicky A Price wrote on 18 December 2023:

    Dear Winslow,
    Thank you for your message. Unfortunately we have to limit the number of London boroughs that we deliver outreach programming to, purely because we the Special Collections Outreach team is small and has finite resources. For this reason, we work with our home and neighbouring boroughs Camden, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest. We find we are over capacity just working within these five boroughs, so I’m sorry to say we cannot extend our work to those living elsewhere. Many thanks,
    Vicky Price

  • 3
    Katrin Harrow wrote on 5 January 2024:

    Hi Vicky This sounds like a fantastic opportunity and would like to support a young person I’m working with to apply. They are very interested but can you clarify the criteria regarding ‘less than 6 months paid experience’ – does this mean that an applicant can still apply with no paid experience in the sector? Kind regards Katrin

  • 4
    Vicky A Price wrote on 5 January 2024:

    Hi Katrin – yes applicants are welcome if they have less than 6 months paid experience, which also means they are welcome to apply if they have non at all. Thank you.

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