From Lucy Moore, Leeds Museums and Galleries, UK:
Museum archaeology is a wondrous beast! Day of Archaeology coincided with my final few days as Archaeology Curator (Maternity Cover) at Leeds Museums. As with the close of any contract, the last few days have been a rush of tying up loose ends and reflecting on what the last six months have meant to me and my career.
Leeds Museums gave me my first post. Like everyone else (who ever walks straight into their first museum job?) I have spent the last few years balancing volunteering with a variety of part-time jobs to keep the books balanced. When I applied it was with the goal in mind of just getting the interview experience. Luckily my knowledge of Chinese hoe money and why it’s funny (to some) saw me through and since I started work in January I have succeeded in my main goal of not losing any objects!
In the last six months I have contributed to the new guidebook for Kirkstall Abbey, organised a weekend of Industrial Archaeology at Armley Mills and introduced new volunteers to the joys of working with archaeological and numismatic collections. Under my enthusiasm we’ve brought about weekly ‘Collections through Cake’ in the staff room, created a ‘SCIFAX’ dance and made friends for life.
No day has been the same the previous and I have embraced the huge variety in the role. I know significantly more about palaeoanthropology, Cistercian architecture and geology disguised as archaeology than I did last December. However, a day that will forever stand out is the day we moved the Leeds Tiger.
Now, I am not about to confess that I am a secret Natural Scientist (clearly Archaeology is the Ultimate Science), but as I gazed at our tiger’s bottom whilst we moved him to be photographed, I reflected that what has really made this dream work has been the support and encouragement of my colleagues. The knowledge in your head is nothing if you don’t have colleagues who you can bounce ideas off, get carried away with, be inspired by, be reigned in by and enthuse and inspire. My day of archaeology is about the people and the terrific career-start I’ve had! Go Team Tiger Go!