Junjie Wang has also had time to reflect on her experience of volunteering at Glenside Hospital Museum. She is now a Museum Professional at the Aurora Museum, Shanghai, China, currently closed due to the COVID-19 virus.
‘Actually, I don’t quite know to describe this museum exactly. It is small, but not simple. It is old, but not old-fashioned. It is telling a story in a nice chapel, about mental issues and historical developments, medicine and theology, war and love, rather than showing off collections. All of these are structured gradually by a group of enthusiasts.
That’s why I really appreciate the time I spent there. I can see all the staff and volunteers trying their best to make the museum an artascope, deploying their various skills. Everyone can make themselves be part of the museum and leave something there. It is really exciting to find their jobs in every corner of the chapel. After all, museology is never an isolated subject.
I won’t hesitate to recommend this museum because I want more and more audience to know our passion, besides all the stories behind the collections. I hope I can get to work in Shanghai next month. Anyway, I miss the collections in Aurora Museum, my collegues, and my wage… And I miss you all at Glenside Hospital Museum.’
4th April 2020
Junjie volunteered full-time for two months during the summer of 2019. She was completing her MA in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. With Isla Kouassi-Kan our University of the West of England Santander internship she expanded our ability to deliver our outreach programme funded through Bristol City Council’s Imagination fund and the Museum Association Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund.
Junjie and Isla worked on developing our handling collection which we use in the museum and anywhere else, it has even travelled to Europe to deliver a session. We have chosen some pertinent items from the store cupboard and a picture clue. We ask people in their small groups to consider why we have the item in our collection, what era it is from, and why it is showing care for the mentally ill and their well-being. These workshops take an hour and can be used for small groups of eight to groups of 56. Students, mental-health and learning disability professionals and people in care homes have all enjoyed participating in the workshops