Citizen Curators – Evidencing Your Journey
We are so much better at doing creative and enticing things with our collections for audiences new and old, than we are at capturing the moment and ensuring that our work has a legacy.
A fundamental part of our Citizen Curators Programme is to support museums and participants in doing just this. We call it evidencing your journey, and it can take many shapes and forms. For Citizen Curators, evidencing your journey is an essential part of completing the programme.
For those wanting to show off their work to future employers or colleagues, it is worth putting aside a little time to do this on a regular basis.
Here are our top tips.
1. Decide how you want to share/publish your evidence:
- Words and images on a webpage
- Portfolio or scrapbook that is photographed or scanned and converted into a PDF, slideshow or document
- Photo essay using an image-based online platform (like Instagram or Pinterest)
- Series of entires in a blog (a website-based journal)
- Spreadsheet or table presented more like a logbook.
- In the end you should be able to share it as a single file or a link to an online destination.
2. The photographs you capture or the words you jot down won’t just be about recording and describing what you have done, but will also include some kind of reflection. Think about Kolb’s ‘learning by doing’ or experiential learning cycle. The headings you use are entirely up to you.
3. Your museum’s blog or website is the ideal place to publish your ideas, reflections and experiences. Find out who is responsible for publishing content and schedule in your post(s) or article(s).
4. It is better to publish original content on your own website, rather than just rely on posting to social media such as Facebook or Twitter because the latter are ephemeral and content ‘disappears’ very quickly, making it very hard to reference in the future.
5. If you are using Instagram or Pinterest or Twitter to evidence your journey, always include the proper hashtag: #CitizenCurators (or that of your project). Take regular screenshots of your content, you can then use these images to archive your posts and save them offline.
6. You can use this opportunity to chronicle your personal journey through starting your own blog. There are many free services available that can have your content up and running very quickly, for example WordPress and Blogspot. See for example Citizen Curator Stephen Murley’s blog from 2018/19: http://reviewsofblah.blogspot.com
7. After contributing to your museum’s website or blog, why not consider contributing a short article or series of images to the Cornwall Museums Partnership blog as a guest blogger?
8. If you would like to publish an article on a specific object or set of objects you are working on, why not consider Museum Crush which has a national reach and arrives in the inboxes of hundreds of readers? Subject Specialist Networks (SSNs) and their societies also run websites with collections-based news and content. If you are interested in contributing to these, find out who the editor is or ask us for an introduction.