My role at the Gallery focuses on preserving and giving access to historic material. The majority of my work centers on the institutional archive of records that documents the everyday business of the Gallery from its foundation in 1856 to the present day. Records held by the archive cover all aspects of the Gallery’s work and Collections, from its various premises, staff, exhibitions and displays, through to the acquisition and documentation of the portraits themselves. I am also responsible for archives collected from external sources, such as the papers of artists and art historians. My duties include cataloguing material from the archive and making these descriptions available online. I assist researchers by responding to internal and external research enquiries and making material available in line with Data Protection and Freedom of Information legislation. As part of my role I also work closely with the Records Manager to secure material for the archive, formulate best practice and advise on records practice at the Gallery.
I studied History at Edinburgh University and joined the Gallery in 2006 as part of the archive team. I subsequently attained a Post Graduate Diploma in Archives and Records Management at University College London and was appointed Archivist in 2011. I am also Treasurer of the Museums & Galleries History Group.
Given the scope of the archive collections and the nature of my role working with primary source material, my research interests are diverse. Areas of particular professional interest include the early history of the Gallery, the development of curatorial practice and the life and work of the Gallery’s first Director Sir George Scharf (1820-1895).