You will know from previous posts I LOVE my history podcasts, so when the lovely Sinéad from Museum Maverick offered to write me a blog post all about her fave museum podcasts, I simply jumped at the chance to discover something new to listen to!
There has been a huge increase in podcasts over the last few years and particularly during lockdown several new ones have sprung up. They are free and you can listen to them easily on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts app on Android devices. I like listening during my many lockdown walks, but also to liven up doing some rather boring chores around the house! But if you haven’t got time to go trailing through all the available history and museum podcasts that are out there – here are some of my favourites:
In its second season, this podcast is all about the behind the scenes of Brighton Pavilion and Museums. The topics they delve into are vast and important in the 21st century museum, they include Queer Histories, Disrupting Colonialism and Workforce Development.
I would highly recommend this podcast to anyone who loves visiting museums or works with them. I visited Brighton Pavilion and Museum in October 2019 and loved them both, listening to the podcast and visiting the museum when we are able to is a lovely substitute for the time being.
Hosted by Dr Sushma Jansari, Curator South Asia Collections at The British Museum, this podcast has conversations with cultural sector workers and higher education educators. Topics delved into include decolonising archives, museum practice and museum activism, during lockdown Dr Sushma has been catching up with previous podcast guests about how they are getting on working (or not!) during the pandemic.
Some of the guests in the podcast include Rachel Minott, Inclusion and Change Manager at The National Archives, Sara Wajid, Head of Engagement at Museum of London, and Arike Oke, Director of Black Cultural Archives. Some really inspiring and engaging women working in the museum sector!
This podcast by the National Archives is all about the hidden and lesser known stories in the archives housed in Richmond, London. The podcasts looks at royal love letters, refugees journeys, covert spying during World War Two and protest campaigns amongst other little-known stories.
Some might think a podcast about an archive might be abit dry or disappointing that you can’t see the records for yourself, but there are lots of online collections on the NAtional Archives website and a catalogue for you to delve into and explore. The podcast gives you a really good introduction into the breath of information and topics you might be able to discover!
This podcast is produced by Leeds Museums and Galleries (LMG), hosted by Meg and Sara, museum professionals that work with LMG. Each week they have a different one of their colleagues on the podcast to pick their brains about their jobs and what projects they are working on at the moment.
This podcast is really conversational in style so is easy to understand and any museum-specific jargon is explained whenever it comes up. Episodes look at topics such as industrial history curating, entomology (study of insects), learning and community engagement. Enjoy this gem!
Meet Me at the Museum is an Art Fund podcast that sees a different celebrity and their friend visit a museum or art gallery. Sometimes it is somewhere they remember visiting from childhood or sometimes it is somewhere they’ve never been before. Places explored include Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Mary Rose and Tate Liverpool.
With four series to explore, you can visit museums with the likes of Phil Wang (comedian), Edith Bowman (radio DJ) and Mel Giedroyc (TV presenter). My favourite episode so far is the ‘Russell Kane at the Whitworth’, comedian Russel Kane takes his auntie with him to the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. This episode delves into the real and perceived barriers for working class communities to engage with museums and the complex relationship between culture and class.
Do you agree with my choice of top museum podcasts? Are there any others you think I have missed? Let me know your favourite museum podcasts in the comments below.
Hi, I’m Sinéad and have been writing for my Museum Maverick Blog since October 2017. I write about all things museums, exhibitions and sociocultural history. I’m also a member of the #historygirls Instagram community.