York Museums Trust

Behind the Scenes: Running a Museum

Expert Talks

We challenged our expert Curators to summarise parts of our history in one minute! The result is family friendly bite size information, like ‘Roman Emperors in York’ and ‘Faith in Anglican York’.

See an example below! We’ll be releasing the videos weekly on our Youtube channel! See the full list here.


Who’s in the Museum?!

What roles go into running a museum? We asked staff from all departments to summarise parts of their role to help give you an understanding of the wide experiences, tasks and opportunities involved in running a museum.

Describe a typical day in your job

Sarah Mortimer, Creative Producer Formal Learning – “I don’t have a typical day! I prepare resources, check that the LFs are ok, check workshops are running smoothly and was working on teacher consultation and working out the future of our work with schools”.

Laura Chapman, Volunteer Training Assistant – “My typical day involves training volunteers on a one-to-one basis, to make sure they are happy and confident in their volunteer roles! I meet with volunteers across the trust and introduce them to staff and help them get settled in at the site they will be volunteering for. We have a number of different roles for people to choose and every volunteer is with us for a different reason, their training needs to be adapted to reflect that. On the quieter days I make sure we’re active and visible on social media. As well making sure our notes and training workshops are up to date”.

What you love most about your job?

 Rebecca Griffiths, Portable Antiquities Scheme Finds Liaison Officer for North and East Yorkshire.- “My role as Finds Liaison Officer at the Yorkshire Museum allows me spend every day working with some amazing archaeological material. I am frequently faced with new and exciting objects and challenges. By recording finds made by members of the public on to the Portable Antiquities Scheme database I am privileged to play a small part in continuing to advance our knowledge of the history and archaeology of England and Wales.” –

M Faye Prior, Assistant Curator of Costume and Textiles – “I love knowing that my work is meaningful; it helps bring joy to people’s lives, inspiring them to be curious and creative.”

What is the strangest thing that you have to do / have encountered in your job?

Laura Chapman, Volunteer Training Assistant – I had a spooky encounter! When I used to open the castle as a Team Leader I had my name shouted to me in clear male voice across the ‘Shaping the Body’ gallery, no one else was in the building at all. Wore headphones after that!

Rania Zein-Elabdin, Assistant Visitor Experience Manager – Probably cleaning up a pair of socks on gallery that were thrown up by a seeing support dog. When I asked the owner if the dog was okay and told them what I had found, they said, ‘I wondered where those socks went!’ (The dog was fine!)

Do you think museums are important? If so, why?

Jacqueline Chiplin, HR Adviser – “Museums tell us about who we were, make us think about who we are and give us insight into who we could be”.

Constance Berridge, Visitor Experience Team Leader – “Definitely important! They care for culture and tell stories that may otherwise not be heard. So long as museums keep adapting to changing times they will always be important in highlighting the past and the present.”

 Tell us about how you came to work for York Museums Trust?

Timothy Asberywood, Chief Accountant – “I was looking for a finance position closer to home after leaving university, this position was advertised and not only was it closer but it was also for an organisation that was focused on my love of History”.

Stuart Castle, Visitor experience team member – “Through being a volunteer at the Military Museum, then became a volunteer at the Castle Museum.”