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Registrars training for the future

Monday, 7 October 2019

The Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds is pleased to announce the appointment of the latest trainee in its innovative Registrars’ Training for the Future Programme.

The programme was launched in 2010 to help fill a gap in formal training for museum registrars. It saw the coming together of experts in collections management from the Royal Armouries, Leeds Museums and Galleries and the University of Leeds School of Fine Arts, History of Art and Cultural Studies.

Its latest trainee, Rebecca Tritschler, studied Fine Art at the University of Leeds and has an interest in ancient craft practices and European Jewish history. Through the programme Rebecca hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the logistics of collections management, rooted in practical skills, as well as experience working with a variety of different kinds of collections; from contemporary art to historical artefacts.

Rebecca commented: “I have heard great things about the programme from previous trainees who have all gone on to do very interesting and different things. It is a fantastic opportunity to get real hands-on learning experience working with collections which is also supported by academic study.”

Alongside its founding partners, the programme is supported by Arts Council England and Crown Fine Art and has many benefits for both the trainees and the partners involved, the trainees go away with a great experience and knowledge of the organisations involved and their collections. They are able to benefit from a unique programme of practical and theoretical learning, and participating in the University of Leeds MA programme also provides a cohort of peers to discuss ideas with and build a wider knowledge of registrars and their work.

The success of the programme is evident, since launching in 2010 all former trainees have continued to work in the museum and cultural sector, including at prestigious organisations such as National Galleries Scotland, the V&A, National Gallery and the Tate.

Museum registrars are often described as the conscience of the museum and hold a huge amount of responsibility, managing not only financial risks but those with the potential to be reputationally damaging. Yet as a Museum Registrar, despite picking up knowledge and experience from many sources, they are not formally trained.

Commenting on the programme, Jen Kaines, Head of Collections Services at the Royal Armouries, said: “Setting this scheme up is probably the best thing I have done in my professional career, and definitely the thing I am most proud of along with the trainees themselves. It is a big commitment to train someone over and above your day job but knowing that you have made a difference to someone and given them the start to what I know will be a brilliant career is fantastic.”

Abigail Harrison Moore, Professor or Art History and Museum Studies in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds, added: “By enabling our trainees to become part of the master’s programmes at the University, they not only receive a postgraduate certificate, but also act as advocates for the importance of the role of the registrar amongst the other students on our large, international programmes. We agreed from the start that the trainees should engage with practice and theory, and feel able to open up critical questions about the job of the registrar, and studying in the classroom alongside their work in the museums and galleries has enabled this, and led to changes in practice as a result of their questions.

“Given the unique nature of the programme and the partnership we have created to deliver it, we have been invited to speak internationally about its success, marked strikingly by the fact that all our graduates have gone straight into important roles in the sector. We now look forward to the next phase, building on the programme to offer accredited training for early and mid-career registrars and collections managers.”

David Preston, Crown Fine Art’s General Manager advised that they are looking forward to supporting even more people with their career progression and “We are extremely proud to have offered support to this unique posting – past and present – for the last two years; by sharing our experience of the market, and the skills and techniques we undertake during our day-to-day work.

Apprenticeships are a huge passion for Crown. Over the past two years, 15 apprentices have joined our team through our wider apprenticeship scheme. By doing this, we aim to consistently and continually establish long-term relationships, and help people to gain valuable practical experience and expertise in their specific field of interest. We are always keen to hear from people who would be interested in becoming involved in Crown’s apprenticeship scheme.”


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Notes to editors

Further enquiries to:

Paul Barrett
Head of Marketing & Communications
Telephone: 0113 220 1972

About the Royal Armouries

Entry to the museum is free but some activities carry a small charge.