#IWD 2020 – The Women of our Museum

Museum of the Order of St John Jessica Swift, Museum assistant

For International Women’s Day, we want to celebrate the women working here at our Museum.

Studies show that museum workforces are generally a place where women make up a larger percentage of employees. Our museum team is a wonderful, dynamic and collaborative group with women at the heart. Today we want to thank these women for their fantastic work here at the museum.

Abi is our Curator and Volunteer Co-ordinator. For about seven years, Abi has been looking after our collections, curating our displays and looking after our wonderful museum volunteers. Abi’s role is wide reaching in the museum, from preventative conservation to collaborating with university research groups. Any questions to do with our objects, artworks and buildings, she is the one to ask!

Hannah is our Learning and Community Manager. This means that Hannah is responsible for creating, implementing and marketing our fantastic learning programme, finding new ways to build our community and engage people with our collections. We run free family activities every school holiday and have a permanent family offer in the museum. With help from our Learning Assistants Amie and Felicity, the learning team welcomes families to the museum in new ways and spreads the word within and beyond our organisation about providing free and engaging access for all. Emily will be covering Hannah’s maternity leave and interestingly used to work here at the gate in a different department just 18 months ago.

Rachel is our Museum Assistant who works most closely with the Learning Team. Rachel has been instrumental in advocating for us to be an Autism Friendly museum, securing funding for training and creating a new Autism family friendly events programme which is currently being piloted. Rachel has also been busy creating a fantastic new exhibition celebrating the Youth of St John – come along next month to see it in full. Rachel does all this fantastic work alongside her Museum Assistant duties welcoming our visitors, looking after the day to day running of the museum and undertaking family history research.

Jess is also a Museum Assistant. When she isn’t welcoming you to the museum or researching in the archives, Jess assists the curator with aspects of collections care and management. This might be helping to accession new acquisitions to the museum’s collection, undertaking research for books or external researchers or making display materials for new exhibits. Jess has also been working with our Librarian on a project to catalogue our Historic Library.

Adriana is our Librarian. She has been working tirelessly cataloguing the Historic Library here at St Johns Gate, working with everything from 16th Century manuscripts, pre-20th Century printed books and even Mr Fincham’s diaries! Adriana’s project is very exciting and means that one day soon we hope to have a fully searchable online catalogue of all our historic library items.

We are also lucky enough to have some fantastic women volunteering for the museum –  thank you to Shirley, Marianne, Meriel, Matilda, Janet and our gardener Sian for enriching our Museum with your knowledge and hard work.

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