Learn about the newest members of the Girl Museum team:

Hi! I’m Sophie. I’m from the UK and live in the north of England. I went to a girls’ grammar school and then on to university to study Ancient and Modern History at Oxford. After leaving uni, I worked as an Education intern at Waddesdon Manor, a beautiful heritage site with a busy family programme. I’m now working in the arts, in a range of roles, from stewarding at a theatre to administrative coordination for an artists’ collective.

In my ‘spare’ time, I’m quite creative — I sing in a choir, make models for an animated film project and write fiction. But mostly, I just watch an awful lot of Netflix.

My dream job would be working as an education coordinator in a history-focused museum. I enjoy the chance to work with contemporary art and scientific issues, but am most at home with historic collections. I like the idea of building my career within an institution, having a desk full of memories and a strong attachment to my workplace.

My absolute favourite museum is the Ashmolean. The current building stands as a monumental Classical oasis, right in the centre of Oxford. It was one of the earliest museums, founded in 1677 when Elias Ashmole gave his cabinet of curiosities to the University of Oxford. His collection included all sorts of natural specimens, coins, tools, books and engravings, much of which had been acquired from John Tradescant the Younger under somewhat dodgy circumstances. Now, the museum is also home to a vast collection of Roman sculpture casts, Arthur Evans’ collections from the excavation of Knossos, the Alfred Jewel and many more gems. The collections are arranged by era, so you can travel straight through the Minoan period into Classical Greece, the Hellenistic period and Rome. To be honest, I rarely make it to the upper floors. Whenever I visit, I am transported from the city around me, into a place where all the wonders of the world seem accessible. And that is exactly what Tradescant and Ashmole wanted.

The biggest issue I know about that girls are facing all around the world is a lack of access to education. Here in the UK, some girls are missing school when they can’t afford sanitary products. Many other girls face graver barriers, not getting to go to school at all. In July 2017, UNESCO estimated that 130 million girls aged between 6 and 17 will never attend school. Poverty, violence, child marriage, cultural practices and poor infrastructure all play a part in this. Big strides forward have already been made, but there’s still a long way to go. Education is the key to girls having the freedom and tools to end oppression, help each other, innovate and enjoy our lives! It needs to be accessible.

That’s one reason that I’m thrilled to be working with Girl Museum; by collecting and telling our stories, I believe we can learn from each other.

-Sophie Small
Junior Girl
Girl Museum

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