Leaving the Fitzwilliam Museum

September 02, 2022

🍵 1 min to read (suggested)

Today was my last day at the Fitzwilliam Museum after nearly 4.5 years of turbulent times - pandemic, new leadership, restructure. The Museum has gone through a belated period of organisational change, and I left as part of this process. I returned all my equipment, keys and cards, and left the building for the last time having seen just a couple of people; I don't think I will set foot in there ever again. A shame as I grew up visiting there with my parents regularly, and it was a primary influence that led to me working in museums and heritage.

During my time there, I lost my father, we had long periods of family illness to contend with, the pandemic destroyed working practices and I had a team that managed to keep the Museum communicating and working virtually whilst we were all confined to our homes.

I rejoined my college, St Edmund's, as a Senior Member, and I became chairman of Cambridge University Rugby Football Union and joined a wide array of committees and steering groups, and I was appointed to the AHRC Peer Review College.

I managed to bring in £1/2 million pounds of research funding as principal or co-investigator, from the AHRC, Leverhulme, British Academy, Marlay Research Trust, GCRF, and Cambridge University internal competitive funding pools. The highlights were when I worked with a fabulous group of post-doctoral fellows and the research facilitator, and travelling to Egypt twice with my brilliant Antiquities colleagues. I revamped the entire digital presence (single-handed development of the website and collections systems) and finished off all the projects that were on the to do list when I joined.

They are in a far better place now than they were in 2018 when I joined - network upgraded, systems replaced and upgraded. I've documented my projects and research from my time at the Museum fully on this site

I won't miss the 5-hour round trip in my car or the endless meetings that begot yet more meetings to discuss the same thing.

I never really felt at home in the Fitzwilliam.