The Rural Museums Network is run by a dedicated committee of volunteers who support members, organise events and initiate projects. The committee are always keen to ensure that they represent the network as a whole – in terms of the types of museums and individuals involved, the geographical spread and the various roles we have within our organisations.
If you would like to become involved in the organisation of the network, please contact us. If you’d like to find out more about life on a subject specialist network committee, Dr Ollie Douglas from the Museum of English Rural Life has shared his experience of being drawn into the fold. Read more here>>
Sharon Martin (Chair) is Head of Collections and Visitor Services at Auchindrain Historic Township in Argyll, Scotland, where she has worked for the past twelve years. Her role is diverse, and covers collections management and development, learning, the visitor experience, operational management, HR, and the organisation of staff BBQs.
Dr Oliver Douglas has worked at The Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading, for over a decade where his role focusses on curation, interpretation, management, research access, and public engagement. During this time, Ollie has both led and participated in numerous projects that have sought to reimagine rural heritage and museums in a range of creative ways. He sits on the Committee of the RMN and The Folklore Society and has previously served as President of the ICOM-affiliated International Association of Agricultural Museums. @OllieDouglas
Rachael Thomas (Secretary) is a museum curator and conservator, based in Inverness, who has worked with collections across the Highlands of Scotland. Most recently this has included time as Assistant Curator at Auchindrain Township in Argyll, and as Project Conservator during Gairloch Museum’s award-winning reinterpretation.
Her areas of interest include the material culture of Scotland’s Gypsy/Travellers, and the interior decorations, fixtures and fittings of Scotland’s vernacular buildings. @rachaelthomasconservation
David Rounce is Project Director with Glencoe Folk Museum and still pinches himself that he’s paid to build museums. A graduate of the University of York with BA (hons) History/Archaeology and MA Transport History, he has worked in curatorial roles for twelve years in a number of independent museums, most recently managing the award-winning rebuilding of Ravenglass Railway Museum in Cumbria.
Lisa Harris is Collections and Interpretation Manager at the Food Museum in Stowmarket, Suffolk. She joined the museum in 2001 and has responsibility for c.40,000 objects, ranging from homewares to working steam traction engines.
She is currently leading the restoration of Alton Watermill to enable the story of ’seed to sandwich’ to be demonstrated (and tasted!) at the museum. Lisa studied History of Art at Stoke on Trent, and Museum Studies at Leicester. She has also worked at Ipswich Museums Service and Gainsborough’s House. @LisaMuseum
Hannah Jackson (Treasurer and Membership Secretary) is an experienced museum project manager, having originally joined Norfolk Museums Service (NMS) in 2006 to manage the redevelopment of Lynn Museum. She subsequently held a number of roles at NMS’s 50-acre rural site: Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. These included positions focused on environmental sustainability (working in partnership with other rural museums within the eastern region), business development, and events and visitor programming. Hannah is currently on a secondment from her role as Operations Manager for NMS’s western area museums (Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, Lynn Museum and Ancient House Museum of Thetford Life) to project manage the transformation of Norwich Castle as part of the Royal Palace Reborn project.
Jo Barlow is a curator based within Bristol Culture. Her most recent partner sites have been Bristol Archives, Mshed, and the historic Blaise Castle House. She has a particular interest in accessible design and community co-creation. Jo originally trained as an artist, and enjoys investigating the ways in which this field collides with and informs everyday life. She currently works as part of the History team, which allows her to blend her interest in architecture, applied art production, social history, and all the other weird and wonderful themes which the subject entails!
Madeleine Ding works as the Collections Officer for both The Museum of English Rural Life and Reading Museum. Her role involves hands on work with the collections, accessioning objects, facilitating research access, creating temporary exhibitions and responding to queries.