13 Feb 2019

Volunteering Behind the Scenes

Hello, my name is Emily and I am currently studying for my Masters in Antiquity following the Classical Archaeology pathway at the University of Birmingham. I began volunteering for the Conservation Club in October 2018, and loved it so much that I took on a second volunteering role as an Archaeological Finds Recording Assistant in January 2019.

As a member of the volunteer Conservation Club I am given the opportunity to visit five of the heritage sites within the Birmingham Museums Trust as well as the Museum Collection Centre. We give each of the sites a top to bottom deep clean to help with the conservation of the building and the objects within it. Conservation is an aspect of the museum world that has always fascinated me, so it is a lot of fun being able to see what goes into preventing things from being damaged. Also, being able to handle the artefacts visitors aren’t allowed to is pretty neat.

Emily in Conservation Club

Emily pictured volunteering with Conservation Club

As an Archaeological Finds Recording Assistant, I help with the Portable Antiquities Scheme by photographing and identifying small artefacts that people have found around England. These finds then get published online for everyone to look at or study before they are returned to their finder. As an aspiring archaeologist, this role has been perfect for me. I get to gain the invaluable experience of handling and identifying real artefacts while helping people learn about their own little piece of history.

Volunteering with Birmingham Museums has been an incredible experience. Being a university student can be stressful at times, but volunteering gives me an opportunity to emerge from my study bubble, socialise with amazing people and gain experience for my future career. I would encourage anyone interested in history and archaeology, or anyone just looking for a fun and rewarding experience, to get involved with the Trust.

If you are interested in volunteering for Birmingham Museums then take a look at the current volunteering opportunities we have available across all our sites.