Volunteers

Giving vital support
to the work of
the Museum

Volunteers contribute to the work of the Museum in many different ways, from engaging with visitors in the galleries, to supporting the work of the Museum’s curatorial, learning or administrative departments.

Volunteer policy 

Volunteers at the British Museum

World Conservation and Exhibition Centre Storage Moves Team – Volunteers

We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to support and learn from the WCEC Storage Moves Team. The WCEC Storage Moves team is responsible for processing the ethnographic collections of the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas and the Department of Asia. This collection includes around 180,000 objects, representing the cultures of the indigenous peoples of four continents. The objects are being packed according to the appropriate pest insect eradication treatment, treated, and then transported to the new store facilities within the WCEC.

The World Conservation and Exhibition Centre (WCEC)

The Centre provides us with world class facilities for visitors and researchers taking conservation, scientific research and collection management to a new level of excellence.

The Museum currently stores its collections across three sites in London: at the main site in Bloomsbury and in two off-site locations. The new Centre now enables the Museum to bring more of the collection back to the Bloomsbury site, including the collection of sensitive organic material.

New on-site facilities provide improved access to the collections, as well as modern, environmentally controlled systems able to maintain the stable conditions necessary for the preservation of objects. These purpose built storage facilities allow us to make the most efficient use of the space available.

Find out more about the WCEC project here.

This is a great opportunity to get some hands on experience in handling and packing objects as part of an extensive storage project. Working under the supervision of the Storage Moves Team you’ll also learn about different packing methods, storage solutions for objects and treatment options for objects with potential pest insect infestations.

This opportunity will include:

  • Learning about collections management and preventive conservation
  • Assisting with either dispatching or receiving the collections as part of the WCEC Storage Moves Project
  • Assisting with object handling, packing / unpacking and photography
  • Supporting the Collections Storage Assistants with store room preventive conservation housekeeping and Integrated Pest Management procedures
  • Editing object images prior to being uploaded to the Museum’s image database

How the volunteer role is organised:

  • Two days per week for 16 weeks, either Tuesday and Wednesday or Thursday and Friday.
  • Starting from the week commencing 29 August 2016
  • You will primarily be based at Orsman Road N1 with occasional days possibly spent at WCEC (at the British Museum, Bloomsbury).

What we would like from you:

  • Good communication and organisational skills
  • A friendly and helpful nature and you enjoy being part of a team
  • You will ideally have good computer and digital skills or be willing to learn
  • Genuine interest in heritage and conservation
  • Good attention to detail and hand – eye coordination
  • Good manual dexterity

What you can expect from us:

  • Gain an insight into the activities of the Collections Services department at The British Museum.
  • The opportunity to be part of a collaborative and enthusiastic team.
  • Training and supervision in object handling, best practice in storage and Integrated Pest Management
  • The opportunity to support one of the Museum’s biggest storage projects to date.
  • Health and safety training, including manual handling, safe working from height and working with hazardous objects in museum collections.
  • The opportunity to develop skills in handling ethnographic collections.

How to apply:

Please complete the Volunteer Enquiry form and attach your CV

Closing date for applications: Friday 22 July 2016

Selection session: Tuesday 2 August 2016