Heritage and Museums Management
This page has been designed to give a starting point for those looking into careers in heritage and museums management.
See also our page on Arts Administration
What is Heritage and Museums Management?
There are a wide range of museums throughout the UK. The cultural heritage industry includes 6,000 organisations which range from small volunteer run to large public sector and independent institutions. Cultural heritage organisations are mainly non profit-making permanent organisations, open to the public.
The profession needs a regular flow of new blood and you could find yourself with a high degree of responsibility early in your career. The focus for museums and galleries is on interpreting collections and opening them up to as many people as possible. Museums and galleries want to position themselves at the heart of local communities. (Museums Association). Both large and small museums and galleries look for people who work independently, show initiative and can generate ideas and income.
Prospects is a graduate careers website with profiles on the following jobs, which are available at www.prospects.ac.uk
Museum education officer
Museum/art gallery curator
Museum/gallery exhibitions officer.
Society of Archivists
This site has a careers in archive conservation and archives/records management section.
How do I get into it?
Consider work-shadowing and volunteering as first steps. If you're unsure about which career path to pursue this is a useful way of sampling various roles. You'll also gain invaluable skills, develop your CV and gain an insight into how organisations operate.
Most museum jobs require you to have a relevant MA. Think carefully when choosing your subject, especially if it is not a vocational Museum Studies course. You should also consider joining societies that relate to your field of interest.
Writing articles and reviews for society newsletters is a good way to publicise yourself, your skills and your knowledge. Giving gallery talks is a good way of expanding your knowledge and an excellent way to network.
You'll need to be mobile and flexible in order to pursue relevant opportunities as they arise. Consider your own mobility and how this may impact on your career prospects. Fixed short-term contracts are common, therefore there is a need to build a portfolio career. Be prepared to lower your expectations in the short term in order to achieve your long term career goals.
Creative and Cultural Skills Council
This is the sector skills council for cultural heritage. You will find a brief overview of the sector as well as links to other organisations.
Finding a job or employer in this sector
There are many public museums and art galleries in East and West Sussex and it may be worth contacting your local museum or gallery for voluntary work opportunities. A complete list can be found in Museums and Art Galleries in Great Britain and Ireland or the Museums Yearbook, both of which should be available in most public libraries. Details of local private galleries or art gallery/shops can be found in Yellow Pages.
Museums and galleries in the area include:
The Royal Pavilion, Brighton, BN1 1EE. Tel: (01273) 290900.
Brighton Museum and Gallery
Booth Museum of Natural History
Hove Museum and Art Gallery
The Towner Art Gallery and Local History Museum, High St., Old Town, Eastbourne, BN20 8BB. Tel: (01323) 417 961.
Worthing Museum and Art Gallery
Chapel Rd., Worthing, BN11 1HD. Tel: (01903) 204229
Culture 24 (National Virtual Museum)
Is a gateway to over 3000 UK museums, galleries and heritage attractions. The site also includes a link for volunteers.
Virtual Library Museums
Directory of museums around the UK
British Archaeological Job Resource
Contains information on jobs, training submitting CVs, useful links and resource guides.
The Museums Association Website also has sections on careers and training. - Go to 'Jobs and careers' and from there to the appropriate section.
See our webpages on 'looking for work'
Further Information and Useful Links
The Association for Heritage Interpretation
The main UK forum for anyone interested in helping people explore and appreciate our heritage.
Association of Independent Museums
This website has a list of conservation courses and training available as well as a directory of companies and organisations.
Council for British Archeology
The CBA works to promote the study and safeguarding of Britain's historic environment, to provide a forum for archaeological opinion, and to improve public interest in, and knowledge of, Britain's past. The website has a section for archaeology training and career development and serves as a gateway to resources online.
The Government's statutory adviser on the historic environment. English Heritage is an executive non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The site provides lots of information about the role and work of the organisation but no information on careers within the sector.
The National Trust
This site gives information on the Trust and also links to a site dedicated to information on volunteering with the Trust.
Archives and Records Association
Exists to promote the care and preservation of archives and the better administration of archive repositories, to advance the training of its members and to encourage relevant research and publication. There is also information included for individuals seeking work experience placements before applying to one of the postgraduate courses in archives and records management
Institute of Conservation
Has specialist sections covering archaeology, ceramics and glass, furniture and wood, metals, paintings and textiles. Also provides details about training in conservation.
University of Leicester Museum Studies
This site has lots of useful contacts and starting points.