Meet Weekend Supervisor and Front of House Officer Steven, who has been giving Otago Museum visitors a warm welcome since he joined the Museum a year ago.
What do you love about your job?
I love my varied role greeting visitors from all parts of the world on the Info Desk, and ensuring the smooth running of the Museum’s operations during weekends and public holidays. I enjoy playing a strategic part of the team delivering with pride the Museum’s offerings in terms of cultural heritage and our collections to the Dunedin community and visitors from around the globe. Also I bring wider museum experience to my role, having worked 18 years with Leeds Museums and Galleries.
What’s your favourite gallery and why:
My favourite would have to be People of the World because of its eclectic collections from history, and stories from around the world. For people in education or research, it’s a tantalising glimpse of other continents that may inspire future students to indulge in travel to see more of these fascinating cultures and learn their stories. And of course the Mummy is pretty awesome!
Do you have an area you are particularly interested in?
I have always enjoyed artefacts from other places and from throughout history, and the possible stories they can conjure up (probably due to watching the Indiana Jones movies when I was young). Although I wouldn’t class myself as an expert, my particular interest was metal detecting back in the UK, and finding things dating from as far back as Roman, Viking and Celtic times (although I never found anything Celtic or Viking as these are a lot rarer). Some people I detected with did find artefacts from that era, and we had a look at others’ finds in the fields before they were registered as Antiquities.
The finding of an ancient object and trying to figure out what possible scenario could have led to it being where it was for centuries has always been exciting. I learnt along the way about certain objects – their uses and their roles in older communities in the timeline. As I worked within museums and galleries I had knowledge and research aids at my fingertips, which was great!
If you could make any collection item come to life, what would it be and why?
It would have to be the Mummy. It would be interesting to find out who she was and what she did in ancient Egypt … the stories she could tell us! And what we could learn from this period would be so cool!
If you were locked in the Museum overnight what would you do?
I would hit the stores to find what else we house in the Museum’s vaults – as with most museums, you only see around a third of its collections.