A Day In The Life of a Curator

8.30 – Arrive at CHAC, am on my own today and put away the handling items that were loaned for a production at the Swan Theatre.  They were returned late on Friday and are from our World War II collection.  The production was a sell out and many people were interested in the display of photographs.  File the paperwork.

9.00 – Do a walk through of CHAC, making sure everything is where it should be and as it should be.  I then empty the dehumidifiers which are full after the weekend.

9.20 – Check my e-mails and social media for any immediate action to be taken, no enquiries today which makes a change.

9.30 – As it is the end of the month, I collect all the statistics required, number of ivisitors, number of photographs and objects accessioned into the collection, number of social media followers, number of records input into our collection computer system and so on.  I have to feedback to the Arts Council at the end of each financial year.

10.00 – Start to check a box of costume for condition, records and take photographs of the items.  Many records on our computer system just say ‘dress’ with no description or measurement.  I update the records of 20 items of underwear.  Unfortunately the previous store at the Museum was damp and there is old mould on about two thirds of the costume I look at.  I repack the costume that hasn’t been affected and pack the affected costume for washing.  I will take the costume home that needs washing as there is more space to do it there.  The items are washed according to instructions from the Conservation Development Officer based at the Museum in Exeter.  The items will be washed by hand in a delicate washing liquid and then swilled with distilled water.


1.00 – Lunch

2.00 – Catch up on admin, I pay an invoice, raise an order for some goods, check the monthly budget to make sure I’m not spending to much money and check the sundry invoices report to see if I need to chase any debtors.  I don’t at the moment, thankfully.

2.30 – Have received an e-mail from the Imperial War Museum concerning a film of the Battle of the Somme that they will let us show next year.  I tell them how many copies I want and where the film is to be shown, East Coker and a venue to be confirmed in Yeovil.  I let the secretary of East Coker British Legion know the latest development.

2.45 – I write a press release for a donation of gloves made in Yeovil and send that to the media section at South Somerset District Council for checking along with photographs of the gloves and the factory where they were made.

CHAC Gloves 3 (2)

3.00 – I do some inputting on MODES our computer system of objects and photographs, there are currently 28,300 object records and 4,500 photographs.  Like all museums there is currently a backlog of recording.

4.00 – Do some research on a waistcoat that allegedly belonged to Napoleon.  It turns out that the waistcoat was made by a high quality theatrical company, Kerslake and Dixon, in London in the late 19th century.  Therefore it is a waistcoat made for someone to perform as Napoleon.  The company made theatrical costume for Sir Henry Irving and there are examples of their work in the V & A museum.  As the waistcoat is an untraced find it is not known how it got to CHAC or why.  I tweet about this.


4.30 – I check the post, another donation has come in of a Thankgiving Service at the end of World War II programme and some paperwork for a donation of gloving photographs.  I sort this out and put the paperwork in the relevant places for action.

4.45 – I do another walk through of CHAC to make sure everything is ok and empty the dehumidifiers again as they are filling up rapidly.

5.00 – Go home.





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