Annual Volunteers’ Conference

On Wednesday October 27th, the British Museum held its 9th Annual Volunteers’ Conference.  This comprised a series of lectures by BM staff followed by a reception.

The conference is an opportunity for the museum to give back to the volunteers for the work they do, and a chance for the volunteers to enjoy themselves and learn about museum projects and research.

This year’s programme consisted of:

Welcome.   Andrew Burnett, Deputy Director of the British Museum

The Underwater Archaeology of the Romans Trade with India.  J D Hill, Head of Research

J D Hill gave an overview of the British Museum’s research into Roman trade with India through early stage fieldwork in underwater archaeology of the Red Sea.

A Guide to Another World: The Egyptian Book of the Dead.  John Taylor, Assistant Keeper, Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan

John Taylor talked about the upcoming exhibition (opening next week) – Journey through the afterlife: Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead.  He explained what the Book of the Dead is and how it was used in Ancient Egypt.

Conquering the North: Early Humans at Happisburgh.  Nicholas Ashton, Curator, Palaeolithic Collections

Nicholas Ashton presented The British Museum’s research in Happisburgh, which is shedding light on the first inhabitants of Britain 800,000 years ago.

Future, present, past: the Conservation of the Collections.  David Saunders, Keeper of Conservation and Scientific Research

David Saunders discussed the workings of the Conservation and Scientific Research department, with a focus on preserving objects for the future, allowing objects to be safely studied by present-day scholars, and learning about the people of the past through analysis of objects.

Summary of the year’s exhibitions.  Neil MacGregor

Neil MacGregor reviewed this year’s exhibitions and how they were received by the BM audiences.  He also described the upcoming exhibitions and lending of the BM collections around the UK as well as internationally.