Hi, I’m Tom Hopkins and I have recently started working as a Curator in a National Museum. Previously, I’ve worked in collections management and documentation roles in a number of organisations. I am from Reigate in Surrey.
I very nearly studied Biochemistry at university. Instead, I graduated with a BA in Classics from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2009. I followed this up with an MA in Classics from the University of Birmingham in 2011, where I wrote my thesis on genre theory in Horace’s Odes.
I started volunteering in the Heritage Sector in January 2012. My first role was as a database and collections volunteer at Guildford Museum. I subsequently volunteered with the London Borough of Sutton Heritage Service, the National Army Museum and the National Maritime Museum. Alongside study and volunteering, I worked for nearly nine years with the supermarket chain Morrisons,.
I landed my first paid job in the heritage sector in July 2014, as a Curatorial Assistant at Worcester Cathedral Library and Archive (a Heritage Lottery Fund Skills for the Future Traineeship). My next job was as a part-time Project Research Assistant at Guildford Museum. On my free days during this role, I went back to volunteer with the National Maritime Museum, and took up a new voluntary role at the Horniman Museum.
After this, I worked at the University of Oxford’s History of Science Museum and Christ’s Hospital Museum in West Sussex.
I started this blog in 2017, and with each year that goes by I continue to reflect on my own journey into the sector and how predicated that was upon my own enormous privilege. This is especially true of my ability to study at university and volunteer in museums afterwards. Some of these concerns have prompted be to become involved with the activist group Fair Museum Jobs, and I encourage you all to look at the work they are doing to make museum recruitment more equitable.