Clare Ablett

Curator of History

  • Department: History
  • Email address:

Core responsibilities:

Responsible for the transport and industry collections.

Staff background:

Clare began her career in the heritage sector working as an archaeologist for an independent company.

Intending to work in museums she completed an MA in Cultural, Heritage and Museum Studies alongside undertaking voluntary work at local museums and other heritage organisations such as the National Trust to gain some experience in the sector too. Clare became a Visitor Guide at the Ulster Museum in 2009 when it was reopened after a three-year closure for refurbishment, a role she remained in for 8 years.

During this time she also completed an 18-month Community Engagement Initiative bursary through the NI Museums Council based at North Down Museum. This opportunity allowed her to work with various community groups on their local heritage projects and to curate an exhibition on the history of the Bangor railway line - her first taste of transport heritage.

Clare moved on to work as the Museum History Engagement Officer for the Living Legacies project at Queens University Belfast, a centre for community research and engagement to commemorate the centenary of WWI. During that time she successfully applied for a Curatorial Assistant role at National Museums NI looking after the maritime and aviation collection as well as assisting with the history collections at the Ulster Museum subsequently becoming Curator of Transport and Industry in September 2019.

Clare thoroughly enjoys her role discovering more about our collections and the breadth of objects we have and, in particular, establishing new partnerships and relationships with local historians and specialists of local transport heritage.

Staff interests:

Clare enjoys getting out on the water with her paddleboard joined occasionally by her little salty dog ‘Milo’. Clare like keeping active and has a keen interest in nature, the environment and how we can do more to make ourselves sustainable. Clare also enjoys watching movies particularly anything geeky!