UCL Young Curators Ethnography Collection 2017

Ethnography collections are museum collections of daily-life objects from different cultures from all over the world: boots, hats, paddles, pots, weapons, jewellery...

Join us for this after-school club to find out about the stories hidden in these objects, how to research them, write about them, and put on an exhibition in one of our display cases. Along the way we’ll discover what “cultural heritage” is about and how everyday objects are full of meaning, and you’ll engage with students and staff from the university. It’s also a great opportunity to find out how museums and collections work and the many types of job that people do with them.

When: Starting Thursday 23rd February, between 4-6.00p.m. every Thursday until the Easter holidays, culminating in an exhibition. We plan to run the club for an hour and a half, with a break for free snacks, so exact times will be confirmed.

Where? University College London, in the Department of Anthropology on Taviton Street WC1H 0PY – that’s near Euston station.


Week 1 is an intro to the collection and how we learn from objects. Meet two of the curators of the collection, one is an Anthropologist who works in Papua New Guinea.

Week 2 we look at how to take care of objects, in a museum or at home, including making a box to protect your own stuff. Meet a conservator, one of the museum staff who practices the science behind taking care of collections.

Week 3 is hands-on objects, looking closely, why do we like what we like? Talk about, draw, photograph, describe, with the support of a professional artist.

Week 4 we start thinking about storytelling and how to tell a story using objects. You’ll bring in your own object from home and talk about connections between it and something in the collection, and we’ll start thinking of a theme for an exhibition.

Week 5 you start to prepare for the exhibition: choose objects, write labels, decide what images you’ll use.

Weeks 6 is more preparation for the exhibition, deciding what goes where and labelling objects. We will end with a party to launch the exhibition, with friends and family.

At the University, lots of staff are keen to get involved so we have curators, conservators, researchers, Anthropologists, and UCL students helping us every step of the way, with plenty of time to ask them anything about university life too.

Who is it for?  

Anyone in Year 10 / 11 / 12 / 13, able to come to UCL every week for 6 weeks, okay with talking to other people, and listening. You can be studying any subjects at school, what you’ll be doing in the Young Curators Club is using lots of different skills to investigate objects and tell stories, and creating a display of your own.

Apply by emailing celine.west@ucl.ac.uk with your name and a phone number