Lara Morrison - Unlocking Our Sound Heritage, Ulster Folk Museum

Some of our volunteers have told us about their experiences with National Museums NI. Find out what they've learnt and what they enjoy most about volunteering with us.

Tell us about yourself in no more than 50 words.

I’m just about to turn 22. I completed my undergrad in History at Queen’s last year which I absolutely loved. I am currently doing the MA in Public History. I have always been a history lover. I love reading, photography, and coastal drives. I’d love to travel more.

What volunteering are you involved in with National Museums NI?

As part of my MA we had to do a 30-day internship with a museum or heritage organisation. I had the privilege of interning at the ‘Unlocking Our Sound Heritage’ project at NMNI. I loved it so much, the team are so welcoming and knowledgeable, that I have decided to stay on as a volunteer. I mainly assist the digital cataloguer, but I also transcribed collectors’ books and attended community engagement events as part of my internship.

How did you hear about the role and why did you apply?

The UOSH team attended an internship workshop event at Queen’s and presented the project to my course. I thought the project sounded really interesting and a great chance to learn more heritage and museum specific skills.

Have you learnt anything new about National Museums NI that you didn’t know before?

It might sound silly but just seeing the sheer amount of people and departments that work at NMIN took me by surprise, there is a lot going on and a lot of hard-working people working behind the scenes.

Have you learnt anything about yourself through volunteering with us?

I  have realised I can be more outgoing than I thought. I have also realised I actually quite enjoy a challenge and just learning new skills. I didn’t know oral history would be of much interest to me either as I haven’t done much of it before, but I have loved it.

Tell us the best 3 things about volunteering with National Museums NI?

The people – the entire staff, from the UOSH team I worked with closely to Trish, the loveliest receptionist ever, are so welcoming and intelligent.

Seeing the inner workings of the organization has been very insightful and fascinating.

Learning new skills I might not have had the chance to learn otherwise e.g. cataloguing.