During the summer our Volunteer Project Supervisors (Fred & Emma) have been looking after a very large team of volunteers over at World Museum.
Here in their second blog post, Emma fills you in on the some of the handling activities that have been taking place on gallery…
“August saw the launch of our new Discovery Volunteers Go Wild! and Discovery Volunteers Go Ancient! projects in World Museum, as part of a number of volunteer initiatives across the museum this summer.
Discovery Volunteers began in summer 2009 and was so successful that it was brought back over Easter 2010. The project has returned again this summer, bigger and better than ever! Originally located in the World Cultures gallery, this time around more than 40 youth volunteers, aged 16-25, have been split between both the World Cultures and the Egypt galleries. The Discovery Volunteers project allows visitors the opportunity to handle objects on gallery and to learn more about them from our volunteers, making their museum visit that bit different. If you are planning a visit to World Museum, why not come along and say hello to the volunteers?
Our youth volunteers had several training sessions before the project was rolled out in the museum at the beginning of August, with sessions ranging from learning about the objects they would be handling to developing their customer care and group working skills. The eager volunteers were then unleashed on to the galleries, and have so far done a great job chatting to visitors about their objects.
Our Go Wild! Volunteers have set themselves up on the World Cultures gallery, with a plethora of objects coming from across the globe for visitors to handle. The snow goggles from the Arctic are a particular favourite with children. There is also a replica of our codex which is a great chance to learn about one of the museum’s star items and to see how it would have been used. The codex is a very rare object, with only around two dozen known to have survived the Spanish invasion of Mesoamerica in 1521, when whole libraries full of these books were destroyed. Our handling trolley also has some Japanese Netsukes, made from a surprising alternative to their traditional material, ivory. These figures are carved into a variety of animals and other characters and would have been used in a similar way to a toggle on a kimono.
Meanwhile, our Go Ancient! Volunteers are resident in the Egypt gallery, with a replica of a wall fragment from an ancient temple. The original of this wall fragment can be seen on the gallery, along with a second replica, this time painted as it would have originally appeared in the temple. The volunteers also have a number of related handling objects including the minerals which the Ancient Egyptians used to make paint to decorate their walls. This is a great chance to learn how these objects relate to the perhaps more well-known aspects of Ancient Egypt, such as the burial of the dead. Being the first time that our Discovery Volunteers have been positioned in the Egypt gallery, this is a special chance for visitors to handle objects and learn more about this very popular subject.
The Discovery Volunteers can be found in World Museum from 11am-4pm everyday until the 29th August.”
For more information about volunteering at National Museums Liverpool, please contact the Volunteers team.
You can also find out more about youth volunteering for 16-25 year olds through v, the national young volunteers service.