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Abigail Duckor, 2014/15

MSc in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums,
University College London

The second year of the MSc comprises a ten-month internship, and I am currently completing mine at the Oxford University Natural History Museum. I have been able to work on a large variety of specimens including taxidermy, spirit specimens and skeletal displays. The work has been very interesting and rewarding. A particular highlight has been the conservation of a Blue-Fin Tuna skeleton; this was an outreach project so we worked on the specimen in the museum gallery. The project required help from many different museum staff, and it was great to work as a collaborative group. It was really fun to be working in the gallery and be able to discuss our work with visitors. The school children were especially rewarding, as I felt I was letting them know about a career option that they had not been aware of before.

The lessons that I am learning through real-life working experience cannot be under-valued. The Anna Plowden Trust is providing me with the financial support needed to complete the full-time conservation placement that is a key requirement of the programme, whilst, at the same time, completing my dissertation.

After graduating, Abigail secured an Andrew J. Mellon Fellowship at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).  On completing her Fellowship she was made Associate Conservator at LACMA where (in 2020) she still works.