Collections Management of the Championships
If someone ask me who got the best placement, it is not an exaggeration to say that it’s me! During the eight-week placement, I have gained professional and practical skills and knowledge, even built up the friendship with my colleagues and mentors. The placement is certainly one of my best memories during the whole academic year.
I am really interested in collections management and care, and hope that I can devote myself to the collections-related part of the museum industry. Therefore, I had a clear direction in mind when choosing a placement related to this aspect. There were quite a lot of placement choices related to collections, but what attracted me to Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum was the variety of unique and rare collections from the Victorian period to present day, including sports equipment, fine art, photographs, architectural etc. It would be a rare chance for me to handle all of those different objects, so I applied to this museum as my first choice.
At first, before the start of placement, I was a little worried about my performance. Firstly because I was quite green in the museum industry and didn’t have work experience in this area before. Secondly, as an international student, English is not my first language, I had never tried to work in an all-English working environment and I was concerned that communication may also be a difficulty that I’d need to overcome. But in fact, my mentor and all my colleagues were very willing to teach me all the skills and knowledge that I needed. They were all very kind and patient in answering all my questions.
My placement role was Collections Assistant, I mainly worked with objects that are collected from The Championships 2023. Most of the time, I worked with the collection officer Eleanor, who was also my mentor during my placement time. From object entry to final cataloguing, I was involved in every process. I needed to finish an object entry form for each object, label the objects, take photos of different side of the objects and measure them. After that, I needed to use the collections management system to create the objects record for those objects. Finally, I can help relocate and transfer the collections that are being returned to the store. In addition to take part in the process of collections management and care, I also got a chance to get involved in other aspects of museum work. For example, I aided the curatorial team with the installation of the new fashion exhibition – ‘Express Yourself: Sport, Street, Style’. I worked with my colleagues to curate panels of paper materials and helped dress mannequins in fashion item, include the outfits of Roger Federer. Sounds cool Right?
My colleagues also took me to join other different activities inside the All England Lawn Tennis Club, such as a behind-the-scenes tour that introduces the iconic courts and facilities of the Club. There were so much fun in these activities and I got to know more about the history and evolution of The Championships.
Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum is not a big museum, but because of this, the resources in the museum are very concentrated, and I had opportunities to try different aspects of work. I believe that choosing a placement that match your interests is important and without any doubt, your placement is a good chance to transform the theories and knowledge learned in lessons into practical skills. At Wimbledon, I truly achieve this goal and even more.
MA Museum Studies
Credit: Solaris in front of the new exhibition ‘Express Yourself: Sport, Street, Style’ (right) and Solaris with her colleagues at Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum (left)