As part of the Excel Placement Programme at the University of Southampton I worked as a project intern at the Mary Rose Trust for 4 weeks. My main task was to design and carry out an evaluation of the museum shop. Even though my placement was for a short period I was lucky enough to see behind the scenes at the museum as well as the work carried out by the Trust.
After meeting the museum staff certain objectives were set and I was determined to produce a project that would offer suggestions for improvements, but also contribute to further evaluation.
Having a tour of the Chain Test House made me realise the scale and number of artefacts recovered from the ship. What amazed me the most was the large numbers of objects such as arrows and pieces of wood. Each artefact had been individually labelled and archived and even hand drawn by the conservation team when items were first recovered.
The museum is involved with education for all ages and engages with local schools regularly. I observed an A-Level archaeology workshop which emphasised the significance of the Mary Rose and how revolutionary the excavation work was. Maritime archaeology and conservation has benefitted greatly from the work carried out on the Mary Rose and it is still highly respected in that field.
As part of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and as a tourist attraction the marketing of the each attraction is important. I had the opportunity to go along to a marketing, communication and events presentation. This showed how the dockyard was marketed as a whole and how success was measured across all aspects. I found it interesting to see the different ways to market attractions and how the whole dockyard was presented.
In my third week I collected data for my project. This gave me the chance to survey visitors, carry out observations and look at the rest of the dockyard site. The results were very positive and it was interesting to speak directly to the visitors, some of which had followed the Mary Rose story for a while.
My final week flew by as I was putting together the data I had collected. It was very rewarding to turn piles of questionnaires and observation sheets into presentable data that I was proud to show. I’ve really enjoyed my internship here and it has given me an insight into what working for a trust within the heritage sector is like. In the future I will be more than happy to talk about my time at the Mary Rose and how I worked for such an iconic historical trust. I would like to thank all the members of the team who I have worked with. They made me feel extremely welcome and it was great to work with people who were so passionate about their work.
Mary Rose Project Intern