This year’s been a big one for me as I started a new job and recommitted to my work and values. It’s been a whirlwind and I’m proud of lots of what I’ve achieved:
- I’ve been reaching out to the people who inspire me, rather than getting intimidated and beating myself up for not being the same as them
- I’m psyched about the contemporary collecting group mailing list I set up with Roz and Vyki, and how handy it’s going to be
- I’ve been working on LGBT+ collecting, and on my last day of work met up with some people who had got in touch because they knew about the work I’ve been doing. This is huge for me as I think it shows I’m earning trust.
- I’ve been invited to do some really cool things, like record a podcast episode, give a salon talk at Sir John Soane’s museum, a Late Debate talk, and Museums Showoff
- Got press coverage – and did live radio – for a collecting project I came up with and have led
I wrote myself a little manifesto back in July, I’ll copy it here:
The approaches and systems that I’ve been using to collect aren’t producing inclusive and representative collections, so it’s time to change how I collect and curate. I’m going to be working on this with lots of people over the next few years and I’m going to get better about sharing what works and what doesn’t. So give me a yell and let me know if I’m getting something wrong, (or right!), if you can help, if I can help you, if there’s anything I ought to be writing about or reading, or if you want to talk.
I’m pretty confident that I’m making progress with all this and some of the areas I’m most excited about next year are:
- Mentoring! I’ve got two formal mentees lined up for next year and I’m looking forward to meeting them and getting to know their work a bit better
- I still really want to do more reading and interviewing and publish about two 20th century curators I’ve been researching: Margot Eates and Hartley Ramsden
- Building up trust in LTM, building up the collections that LTM needs, and working with more people to do it
- Learning more! There is so much I’m excited to discover about mobilities, urban change, queer history (the subject of ‘pink depots’ is one I want to find out more about next year), decolonizing museums, digital preservation, participatory collecting projects, contemporary collecting, shared collections… I am so excited to learn more about all this
- Getting more displays updated, and turning all the learning and collecting to changes that our visitors see
- Something I found rewarding and thought-provoking last year was nominating colleagues and other figures for awards. I am going to keep this up next year and make sure that I’m helping the work I value get the recognition that I think it deserves
Specifically I want to:
- Get more confident in front of the camera and record some videos
- Do more talks, radio and podcasts. Maybe start a museum podcast?
- Deliver outstanding collecting projects for London Transport Museum
- Go to conferences! They are so fun
- Improve BAME representation in the museum’s collections and the museum, support my BAME colleagues better
- Learn to be a good mentor
- Visit more exhibitions next year