Blogception: The person behind the blogs

The volunteers at the museum make the work and projects we do achievable.

From supporting educational groups, adding to the visitor experience, and assisting with collections – they make continuing The Argylls story possible.

This month’s volunteer focus seems like a blogception, as we look at the work of Content Volunteer, Caitlin. If you have read any blog the museum has produced recently, you will be familiar with Caitlin’s work. Caitlin originally started to get involved with the museum during her master’s degree in Heritage at the University of Stirling. She first started assisting with schools before moving on to support the monthly blogs that are produced. As she moved towards the end of her studies, Caitlin moved back home to Fife, but continued to support the museum team.

Caitlin S (volunteer, larger image) and Caitlin M (staff, corner image) during one of their monthly catch ups
Photo Credits: The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum

Caitlin has produced over 13 blogs at the time of writing with over 3000 reads across these – so I had to ask her if there any favourite or notable pieces of hers that came to mind. She answered almost immediately that she enjoyed reaseaching about the watches and objects that have radium paint on them, especially with the history of the factory workers with the consequences of this element being used. You can read this here: https://argylls.co.uk/timeless-treasures/

Jaeger-Le Coultre pocket watch 1939-45, which Caitlin discusses in her blog
Photo credits: The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Museum

She quickly followed that she enjoyed the Prisoner of War piece, particularly since she got to handle and work with this extensive collection, which belong with James “Weir” Baird, a Private during World War Two. This incredible account was one she enjoyed due to the story and the experience she gained. Find about about Weir’s story here: https://argylls.co.uk/behind-the-wire-one-argylls-story-as-a-prisoner-of-war/

Portrait of Private James Weir Baird, the focus of the Prisoner of War blog and whose collection Caitlin worked closely with.
Photo credits: The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Museum/ Elizabeth Baird

When asked if there’s anything she has learnt during her time so far producing this online content, Caitlin stated that everytime she has wrote a blog, she learns all about the object or the story she’s writing about. She also mentioned that before her time with the museum, she didn’t understand much about Scottish regimental history and that this role has helped with this. Most notably, she mentioned about the oppertunities she has had to handle museum collections whilst undertaking her research – something she hadn’t had experience in before.

Caitlin also mentioned that her experience with the museum team has significantly enhanced her understanding of the sector. Collaborating closely with the team and engaging in conversations with them has revealed the diverse range of roles within the industry and the various career paths available. She also noted that this opportunity has been instrumental in helping her gain a foothold in the cultural sector.

One of Caitlin’s most read blogs, and the first she produced, looks at the museum collections of sweetheart brooches
Photo Credits: The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum

Since finishing her Master’s degree in 2023, Caitlin works part time as a Museum Assistant at the St. Andrews Museum whilst also continuing to support the museums digital offer.

As someone who “meets” (online) with Caitlin every month,  I am not only incredibly grateful for her work, but it speaks to her dedication that despite moving away, she continues to support to keeping in touch with me and produces fantastic pieces. I hope she knows how important her work is in not only reaching international audiences, but also in telling stories in depth that we just cannot do on social media platforms.

Thank you, Caitlin!

Written by Caitlin Meldrum, Audience and Communications Officer.