Hello and welcome to Shine a Light Phase Two! We are Sophie Towne and Josh Giles the new Skills for the Future Collections Management Trainees at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse.

As you already know from the previous blogs (hopefully!) the first year of the Shine a Light project has been successfully completed. What was just a storage space for the Norfolk Museums Service has been turned into a room of discovery for all to enjoy. We will be continuing the Shine a Light project which Wayne, Dayna and Ann-Marie initiated. The mezzanine looks excellent now; with mustard stampers and mammoths neatly arranged to facilitate access for researchers, curators and visitors.

However… next to this we are confronted with box upon box and crate upon crate towering in the elusive roller-racking. Whereas Phase One of the project was focussing on the 24 ‘mystery’ crates, Phase Two will look at the roller-racking. The overall goal, however, is the same. We will be reorganising the space to create access to the stored collections which will benefit both members of the public and museum staff. And as ever we hope to keep this blog as active as we can in order for you to see progress as it takes place.

One row of many in our Collections Centre challenge!

One row of many in our Collections Centre challenge!

We are sad that Wayne and Dayna have left the project, and Ann Marie will be departing soon, but we are very keen to keep up their good work over the next year.

More roller-racking!

More roller-racking!

So a bit more about us…

I am Josh! I studied history and have always wanted a job working with museum collections. History has always been fascinating to me.  Objects from the most mundane to the most weird and wonderful excite me. So being here in the Norfolk Collections Centre seems like the perfect job…..

Fresh out of university I volunteered at Swaffham Museum and managed to work hands on with their collections. I then went on to work as part of the Visitor Services team here at Gressenhall which was a great experience. This role as part of the Skills for the Future project is my first paid job with collections and I am very much looking forward to all the surprises it will bring.

Surprise number one being Eggbert the Anglo Saxon man sent to The Norfolk Collections Centre for conservation freezing

Surprise number one being Eggbert the Anglo Saxon man sent to the Norfolk Collections Centre for conservation freezing to eradicate potential pests

I’m Sophie! My first few weeks at Gressenhall have been a flurry of introductions, inductions and computer e-learning. I’ve already learnt loads in just a short space of time, like how to manoeuvre a gigantic silk press into a freezer and the best way to photograph a guillotine.

I have some experience of working with museums, however, I have never attempted anything quite on the scale of the Norfolk Collections Centre. I’m looking forward to the exciting challenges which we will face in the coming months and can’t wait to discover more hidden gems concealed in the roller-racking.

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