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Wednesday, 5 June 2013


Here at The Ministry of Curiosity we aim to break down the stereotypes of those who work and love Museums, we're not whip wielding creeper loners stroking objects in damp basements. We're sociable, fun and actually like to see daylight. However there is one stereotype that unfortunately we can't rebuff... 

We're a bit scruffy. 

 As a Collections Care worker I've tried to keep myself preened at work but it never lasts long! After work outings are normally accompanied by an attempt to change my clothes on the bus and using wet wipes to mask the smell of collections. How do I try to look, well... tidy and why do we get so scruffy? 

A big myth is that museums are dusty old places but its the stores where the dust gathers! Clambering to find objects or move those that haven't been on display for years often means fighting a thin layer of the stuff, after a day searching you end up covered in the debris. It's pretty grim luckily wearing old clothes, jeans or even standard issue fleeces can make sure your only covered in a very very thin layer by the end of the day.

Moving objects around all day requires strong arms and a pair of steel toe capped boots. Now steelies aren't my footwear of choice and so I often add frilly socks in an attempt to make them look a little less builder more museum lover. 

Museums are full of hazards, what you see on display is often the most stable and safe objects, however in the stores I like to play hazards bingo. I've seen it all from the notorious asbestos to deteriorating cellulose nitrate and litre bottles of ammonia. There is only one way to remain safe, wearing a hazmat! 

Tyvek is the outfit of choice for so many museum workers, the suits can be uncomfortable, but I like to think of them as blank canvas', I'm yet to cover mine in diamante's and feather in an aim to infuriate conservation.

Gloves are a key part of any museum workers outfit coming in a range of sizes and colours. Cotton gloves are out and nitrile gloves are in this season ladies and gents and an absolute must when working with objects! Unfortunately the plastic blue pairs look less professional (and less like Minnie Mouse) than white cotton gloves.

Away from our apologetic look in the Stores we do attempt to look our best, where are we then? In other museums. Looking tidy and taking #museumselfies!

What do you wear when working with the collection? Let us know @curiositytweet with the #museumstyle

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