October 09, 2009

Hands-on experience: the Burke Museum and Museology

The field of museology is undergoing exciting changes and facing new questions which challenge even the most skilled and experienced people in museums. Interdisciplinary skills, new technologies and debating the purpose of museological institutions are a few reasons why I have been anxiously awaiting the start of my graduate studies at the University of Washington’s Museology program.

My name is Andrea Barber and I am the new Outreach Assistant in the Burke Museum’s communications department. Continuing my education while gaining practical knowledge in a field that I am passionate about has been my main goal while applying to graduate schools, and I knew the moment I heard about the Museology department at the University of Washington that it was a perfect fit for me. While completing a Master of Arts, Museology students can get hands-on experience in museums by walking up one flight of stairs and stepping foot onto the Burke Museum’s floors. Internships are available in virtually every department, and there are even audience research courses that have a readily available visitor base at our fingertips.

The Burke Museum provides Museology students the opportunity to apply the knowledge they’re learning as it is being taught in the classroom while simultaneously participating in an environment that could potentially be a source of future employment. During the next two years, I, along with all other 32 members of my class, have the opportunity to explore my particular interests, form lasting connections with Burke Museum mentors and learn how to enhance my skills as part of a museum team. These experiences are invaluable, and I look forward to every minute of it.

Posted by: Andrea Barber, Communications

Photo: UW Museology student takes measurements for artifact catalog records in the Archaeology department