Who are you and what do you do?
Rebecca Tessier, Collections Cataloguer and Museums Officer. I am also Keeper of the Museum of Eton Life.
I do all sorts of things! As Collections Cataloguer I work on cataloguing projects across the department, focusing on the object-based collections. This varies from cataloguing new acquisitions to developing guidelines and terminology and authority control.
As Museums Officer, I work across the Museum of Eton Life, the Natural History Museum and Museum of Antiquities. My involvement varies from documentation to collections management to outreach, and I get to work closely with the Keepers of both museums, benefitting from their subject specialisms!
As Keeper of the Museum of Eton Life, I get to engage in a fascinating social history collection: curating displays, creating learning materials, teaching, and looking after an eclectic mix of objects.
What does a normal day at work at Eton look like for you?
As you might guess from the above, a ‘normal’ day can be one of many things!
It always involves some computer work, responding to emails which often can be enquiries or offers for donating to the museum, editing the Collections blog or adding to social media. There will usually be a meeting or two as well! We have a series of groups that handle the strategic planning for projects across exhibitions, outreach, collections management and more. Then, if I’m lucky, I’ll get to work directly with some objects from one of our collections – perhaps for a teaching display, or new exhibition, or to add to the collections catalogue.
It is worth noting that tea and biscuits also feature regularly: our team tries to gather at least once a day to see each other face to face. It’s a little bit different in the virtual world but we do have organised coffee breaks on Zoom!
What inspired you to work in this sector / industry?
I have always loved art, museums, history. My background in fine art and art history pushed me towards galleries and collections; and a lifelong interest in heritage fuelled by trips to National Trust and English Heritage properties, castles, historic landscapes sealed my fate in aspiring to work in the heritage sector.
One of the most incredible things about working with the Eton College Collections is that I can work with a huge variety of art and objects – from everyday items to artefacts from the ancient world. It’s a privilege to be working in an industry I am passionate about; opening up collections and sharing access to them so that other people can discover or further their interests in history and heritage is what drives me.
Keep an eye on our blog and social media for more shared views!