William Anderson, Ulster American Folk Park

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

My name is William Anderson, I am married to Paula and we have two adult children and one finishing primary education. I have lived and worked in the village of Sixmilecross all my life (50) starting as a post office clerk to now a registered child minder with my wife.   

What volunteering are you involved in with National Museums NI?

I am a curatorial volunteer at the Ulster American Folk Park outside Omagh, under the supervision of assistant curatorial Fiona McClean. 

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

I was told of the role by Fiona (she has used our child-minding service for the past 15 years) and she knew of my deep interest in history, especially local history and genealogy.

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

I have learned how welcoming and knowledgeable the staff are and that the objects that are in storage are just as interesting as those out on display. 

Have you learnt anything new about yourself through volunteering with us?

I can spend endless hours researching objects from Irish lace to military brass buttons and not realise the time fly by.

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

First, definitely the staff, they have put me at ease from the very beginning and made me feel part of the team, next, the museum and having access to all their research facilities and last, the opportunity to learn new curatorial skills and expand my knowledge in local history and the families that made it.