I’m Jenny Crothall and I’m the Collection Storage and Access Manager for Royal Museums Greenwich.
What does your role involve Jenny?
Our team manages the stores and looks after collections. We make sure the objects are kept safely for long-term preservation and that they are accessible for members of the public, staff or anyone coming to do research. We’ll retrieve objects if people want to view them and we’ll move objects for conservation, loan and exhibition purposes.
So how has the building benefitted you so far?
We’re almost like a one stop shop now. Having all of the facilities and departments in one place just means that we can be much more efficient in our processes. It was very tricky before. We had a very old store with mezzanine levels and no lifts. But this building is fantastic – we’ve got lovely, wide corridors so we can move objects around safely and securely.
How is the air quality and lighting for you here?
These spaces are really bright and we can see the objects more clearly. The environment’s controlled – so we’ve got suitable temperature and humidity in these stores for the preservation of the objects. And the floors are much easier to clean!
Has the building affected how you feel about your job?
It’s much more satisfying to come into the stores and see the objects housed in a way that we can access them better. And because we’ve got more space and flexibility to access the collections we can invite the public in to have a look at objects. It’s fantastic to see the reaction on people’s faces when they come into the painting store. You always get big ‘wows’ and that’s great for job satisfaction.
Has your relationship with colleagues changed at all?
Yes, definitely. Before we would only see people if they came down to the stores or if we went to the studios. Now we see people on a day to day basis. It’s really great to be able to work closely with other people and meet in the communal kitchen – just to forge relationships, share some laughs and feel more involved in the museum community.
How does the building make you feel?
I feel proud to come into this building. It’s a building where I can work more efficiently and somewhere I can work more closely with colleagues. I really like coming into the store spaces – they have a nice feeling about them. I guess I have a particularly close relationship with the store side of things because I worked on the planning, the design and the fit out. I just have a really huge sense of pride to see what we’ve achieved with the new building and to see how much better the collections are cared for and accessed.