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12 Feb 2020

Volunteering with the Image Library

Hi, I’m Jasmine and currently I am in my final year at the University of Birmingham studying Ancient History. At Birmingham Museums Trust I volunteer as an Image Library Assistant based at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

This volunteer role is important as there are a lot of images that need to be uploaded to the Digital Image Resource, and I aid in making the process of uploading quicker. I have only been in this role for a short period of time as I started in November, but already this role has been beneficial to understanding the workings of what goes on behind the scenes of the museum. My main project is the uploading of various images that depict artworks, pictures, costume and so much more from across all Birmingham Museums Trust sites.

Screenshot of the Digital Image Resoure

Within this I must add the relevant information, identify key words that match the specific image in order to make it easier to find on online searches. This is a great opportunity to have a closer look at many of the images of wonderful work that Birmingham Museums house across their sites. Currently I am aiding in the rapid digitisation project, a project that endeavours to provide the public with a wide range of images of works on paper that cannot ordinarily be physically accessed. This is a huge task with thousands of images on the database to be completed. But the task is very rewarding when you see the images on the website and know that it could be a point of interest for someone.

I enjoy volunteering within this role so much as I am helping to make collections more accessible to the public, aiding in research and helping to present material that hasn’t been displayed for years. It gives us the opportunity to rediscover the huge collection cared for by Birmingham Museums Trust, if you are interested do have a gander at some of the uploaded collection on the Digital Image Resource, which I highly recommend you do!

Becoming a volunteer was the greatest decision I made when I started volunteering at Aston Hall in April 2018, and I thoroughly enjoy the work that I continue to do at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. The support and training I have received has been phenomenal, and I know that the skills I am learning will be of great use for future employment. Volunteering is beneficial to the busy life of a student for several reasons; the flexible hours, a much-needed break from studying and the development of those all-important skills needed to impress future employers.

Volunteer Jasmine dressed as Cinderella at Aston Hall

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.