Museum Development Officer for Surrey, East & West Sussex
I’m Helen Derbyshire, one of the two Museums Development Officers working in the Surrey, East & West Sussex, Brighton & Hove sub-region. I work with museums in East Sussex and those in the Waverley, Guildford, Woking & Surrey Heath districts in Surrey.
I started working as a Museum Development Officer in December 2007 and I very much enjoy working with the extremely varied organisations and people within our sub-region and with the other MDO’s in the South East. During my time as MDO I have led a number of exciting projects including those looking at volunteering, design & interpretation and engaging new audiences with collections.
I began my museum career in 1998 when I was studying for my BA in Decorative Art & Craft working as a costume volunteer at Brighton Museum, helping to move the costume store, take down the old gallery & document the collection. I then studied for my MA in Museum Studies at Leicester University, with specialisms in contemporary art & material culture.
My first job was in 2003 working at the Mass Observation Archive/Special Collections at the University of Sussex as an Assistant Archivist. I then worked in Brighton Museum for 3 years as an Oral History Documentation & Digitisation Officer, an Assistant Curator (cross collections) and as the Micro Museums Project Manager (a project creating exhibitions from stored objects and placing them out in the community in non-traditional museum spaces). Alongside these I was also a part time lecturer with the School of Historical and Critical Studies at the University of Brighton, teaching design history and theory for 5 years prior to taking on the MDO role.