Working in museums
V&A Museum

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Staff from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London talk about their jobs and what it's like working at the museum.

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Check out 8 videos about this career


£31,200
average salary
39
average weekly hours
55%  female  45%  male 

Future employment

Description

Archivists and curators collect, appraise and preserve collections of recorded and other material of historical interest.

Qualifications

Entrants require a good first degree in order to gain entry to a relevant postgraduate course. Many postgraduate courses also require applicants to have gained relevant practical experience prior to entry. Training is typically received on-the-job. Professional qualifications leading to NVQs/SVQs in relevant areas at Levels 3, 4 and 5 are available.

Tasks

  • Examines, appraises and advises on the acquisition of exhibits, historic records, government papers and other material;
  • Classifies material and arranges for its safe keeping and preservation;
  • Maintains indexes, bibliographies and descriptive details of archive material and arranges for reproductions of items where necessary;
  • Examines objects to identify any damage and carries out necessary restoration whilst preserving original characteristics;
  • Makes sure that storage and display conditions protect objects from deterioration and damage;
  • Allows access to original material or material not on display for researchers;
  • Develops and promotes ideas for exhibitions and displays;
  • Negotiates loans of material for specialist displays;
  • Liaises with school and other groups or individuals, publicises exhibits and arranges special displays for general, specialised or educational interest;
  • Answers verbal or written enquiries and gives advice on exhibits or other material.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries
for this job
Libraries, etc 7990
Food & beverage services 2544
Sport & recreation 1395
Membership organisations 1180
Agriculture, etc 647
Services to buildings 561
Film &  music 334
Education 303
Public admin. & defence 118
Arts & entertainment 115
Employment status

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Janet K

  V&A BTS START Caption Emmajane Avery – Director of Learning and Visitor Experience The Victoria and Albert museum is the national museum of art and design. It was established about 150 years ago in order to inspire the next generation of designers so in the V&A you will find a whole encyclopaedia of design practice. All sorts of different types of objects that illustrate design, art, creativity over a number of centuries. Kati Price – Head of Digital We have 7 miles of galleries full of the most incredible things, objects, stories that you can imagine. Elisabeth Bisley – Assistant Curator I find it incredibly exciting to work with objects the V&A has an amazing collection but in any museum collection I think you’ll always find objects that tell you something very interesting and very unexpected about the period that you’re looking at or the people who made it and no matter how many times an object has been studied, there’s always something else that you can think about or discover about it which is really thrilling. Philippa Simpson – Client Project Manager The best thing about working at the V&A are the people. Just the range of talents, the range of expertise, everybody’s enthusiasm for the place and in my opinion everybody here is really working at the top of their game. Euan Keith – Gallery Assistant The changing of the different exhibitions that are happening like every 3 months, so every 3 months you’re getting new and exciting things through the museum. But that’s, that again is also changing like weekly. So yeah, everything about is just fantastic. Kati Price Working in digital media at the museum is a really exciting place to work because new technologies mean that we’ve got all kinds of exciting opportunities to bring all these objects and the stories behind them to life online. Matthew Raw – Ceramic Artist Residency The artist in residence is someone who exists at the museum, they don’t live here but they come in most days and work on an experimental body of work that they determine. There’s no final piece necessarily but it’s just 6 months to develop as an artist and use the collection to inspire them. Malini Balluck – Personal Assistant As a PA my main role is to manage the diary, set up meetings, both externally, internally. Euan Keith I’m first point of contact for lots of people coming to the museum, haven’t been here before, or have been here before and they’re not really sure of the new layouts or whatever. Joanne Glover – Senior Designer I do anything that you see, anything visual from exhibition graphics like this space here, or the marketing for the exhibitions, advertising that you see on the tube. Kati Price I look after everything to do with the museum online. So on my team I have a whole bunch of technical people who have expertise in coding, then we have the people who write the content and edit the content and produce the content. Philippa Simpson A client project manager is the person really who brings together the different people involved in a large building project. So I work with the designers, the engineers, the architects, in bringing together their drawings, their ideas, and how they are translated really and brought into fruition by their contractors and the builders. Emmajane Avery We have an internship programme and an apprenticeship programme that we run here at the museum and we also do a variety of careers days where young people can come and hear designers give talks, workshops, portfolio advice. Malini Balluck I actually look after the learning department internship which is a 3 month paid internship that we run and that we advertise via our website. Elisabeth Bisley We try to give as much help as possible to students who want to work in museums and give them a real sense of what the practical work of being in a museum is like. END  

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