In the backdrop of the buzzing museum sector, there are young people working hard to change how history is viewed for every single person who visits a museum. The Young Curators at Cornwall’s Regimental Museum in Bodmin attend weekly two-hour sessions to learn how the museum sector grows, develops and overcomes its challenges. We tested our own developing skills with our self-run India: Empire and Influence museum late, with sessions including ARTiculation speeches, an Escape Room themed around the Viceroy’s Office, and a gallery of artworks and pictures taken in India around British influence. Before we all go on to our separate paths and careers, opportunities such as the Young Curators programme are key in building interest and confidence.
There are 10 Young Curators in total-8 from Callywith College and 2 from Bodmin College, and all of us study History at A-Level and a select few are going on to study History at University. From using historical debates to enforce a career in law such as Bryony, one of the museum’s Young Curators, to people like me who have a clear job in history in mind, Young Curators has helped me gain insight and real-life opportunities never accessed in my A-Level classes. This even helped my University Application for Joint Honours English and History.
All of the Young Curators have been gaining a range of knowledge including how special events are planned and held. Visits to other museums and galleries helped broaden our insights into multiple career pathways and how historical contexts can shape other industries. For example, the Young Curators visited Penlee House Museum and Art Gallery after hours for a private tour on Robert Borlase Smart, a painter born in Cornwall whose experiences in World War One influenced his artworks. Experiences like these bring a broader picture to us as students, who are constantly analysing and evaluating. Working in the Regimental Museum brings a solid permanence to History that we rarely get to experience.
Written by Abbie Hosken, Young Curator