The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

When I was 14 years old my family and I lived in Oxford for a few months where my father was doing research and finishing a book. Because of my young age, and protective mother, the only two places my younger sister and I were allowed to go unsupervised was the self-service laundry and the Pitt Rivers Museum, which was close to where we lived. 

Despite the restrictions, we were quite content with the arrangement; we knew no place more fun than the Pitt Rivers. We used to spend days and days exploring all the cases, corner, drawers and displays, drawing objects that drew our attention and stare at the shrunken heads in disbelief, fascination and perhaps a little disgust. And now, years later when seeing Pitt River’s ‘Small blessings’ amulet competition advertised, I of course had to participate, as it would be an honor to be at least in some little way part of the museum’s wonderful and strange world.

The museum received a well earned grant in order to catalogue and make accessible one of its diverse and beautiful amulet collections and I urge everyone to head over to the projects homepage and browse the online database and the multimedia section. There you can also see the competition entries, where I am very proud to say the amulet I submitted was described as ‘Pitt-River-esque’ and so one of my childhood obsessions has been materialized right around my neck.

Small Blessings – homepage here

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