We are pleased to introduce you to our new Collections Officer, Dr Angharad Jones. Angharad is just beginning her career in museums, having been appointed Collections Officer at the end of May.

However, she has held a keen interest in the prehistory of Creswell Crags for many years. While undertaking an MSc in Quaternary Science, she completed a dissertation on the mammals found inside and outside of Church Hole. Following this, she completed a PhD, researching the spotted hyaenas that lived in Europe during the Pleistocene (the period from 2.6 million to 11.5 thousand years ago).

Angharad has been volunteering with us for a number of months before applying for this role. She says:

I have always had a keen interest in the physical landscape and nature, so a logical step was pursuing a BSc in Geography. During this time, I developed an interest in past environments, and so went on to do an MSc in Quaternary Science. I was particularly fascinated by mammals from the Pleistocene (the period from 2.6 million to 11.7 thousand years ago), and completed a dissertation on mammals found inside and outside of Church Hole at Creswell Crags. I then went on to a PhD, researching hyaenas that lived in Europe during the Pleistocene. During my PhD, I travelled to many museums, and became interested in the potential of working in museum collections, particularly those focussed upon palaeontology and archaeology.

I am grateful to have become a member of the team at Creswell Crags, and am enjoying working with the collections.

The role of Collections Officer is currently a part time post but the duties are anything but; and we are keen to secure the funding to enable us to invest further in our collections management. If you are unfamiliar with our museum and stores you may be surprised to discover the range and importance of our collections.

Before the creation of the museum at Creswell Crags, finds unearthed at the site were dispersed among a number of highly respected institutions, including the British Museum and the Natural History Museum. Many of these items have now been loaned back to Creswell Crags and can be seen in our gallery. This is obviously a significant collection for Angharad to manage with established partnerships among leading institutions. She will also be recruiting and managing a new team of volunteers who will be given tasks which will help us to better understand our collection.

It’s quite a challenge for a new appointee. Despite her enviable knowledge of aspects of our collection, Angharad will be focussing on developing her skills in respect of collections management techniques and processes and we will be supporting her with development opportunities. This is an exciting time for Creswell Crags as we confront the challenges of a self-sustaining independent charity. Visitor numbers are increasing and one of Angharad’ s goals will be to find ways to provide greater public access to our museum stores and the wonderful objects and stories to be found in there.

We hope you will all join us in giving her a warm Crags welcome. Look out for Dr Jones next time you visit.