Chris Padget joined the Marketing Department of The York Archaeological Trust in October 2016. During his time with the Trust he has worked on a variety of high-profile campaigns including JORVIK Viking Festival 2017, the reopening of JORVIK Viking Centre and Museum Week 2017. Here he discusses his role in the Museum’s Resilience Programme, an Arts Council funded project which has helped YAT develop its research and access strategy for collections and create useful opportunities for staff and volunteers to develop their skills and expertise.
Since joining the York Archaeological Trust (YAT) as a Marketing Administrator in 2016, a big part of my role has been to assist in the production of material relating to the Resilience programme and the creation of online pages to showcase this work to the wider public. It has been a rewarding assignment to pursue, bringing me into contact with a fascinating range of stakeholders who have each shed light on the history of York and the people who lived there. More generally, it has broadened my idea of what museums can (and arguably should) do – the programme has allowed the Trust to move beyond traditional physical boundaries by sharing knowledge digitally and hopefully thereby reaching new audiences.
I have also been able to develop a number of skills and relationships which I believe will be of significant benefit to me in my future career. Chief among these has been the chance to engage with different departments within the Trust itself, gaining an insight into research projects, conservation work and artefact analysis as well as other things. I have gained an understanding of important archaeological projects which I would not have encountered in my day to day position. Taking the results of work undertaken for the Resilience programme I created eleven web pages which tell the story of the projects through text and imagery as well as audio and video media.
As well as this, my role has seen me undertake other projects including JORVIK Viking Festival and the ‘Return of the Vikings’ reopening of JORVIK campaign. It has been a rewarding experience to work on these major events and help bring the story of our shared Norse heritage to a national audience, which would not have been possible for me without Resilience Programme funding. Through my work in areas such as digital engagement, design and customer research I feel I have made a positive impact on the success of JORVIK since it reopened in April 2017, and have helped bring two incredible festivals to over 50,000 annual visitors in the city of York.
In the future I hope to use the connections and digital expertise I have attained in continuing to improve the Trust’s digital offering. With a unique collection and highly respected experts this is an organisation that has stories to tell; following my time in Resilience I am well equipped for the future and confident about bringing such stories to the public.