Alumni Profile: Matthew Jarron

Matthew Jarron
Curator, University of Dundee Museum Services

PG Dip, 1996-97

After studying Archaeology at the University of York I came to the conclusion that I didn’t much fancy being an archaeologist – too many cold, wet field trips around Yorkshire to do surveying exercises on too many cold, wet fields. A part-time job at North Berwick Museum confirmed that staying indoors in the warm surrounded by interested objects was far more promising, so I was delighted to be accepted onto the MGS course. Almost immediately I realised that I’d found my vocation – others have written about the course providing that ‘lightbulb’ moment and that was definitely true for me. I loved every moment of it (apart from the documentation exercise, obviously!) and my enthusiasm was only slightly diminished by my first job on graduating – working for National Museums of Scotland at their industrial stores at Port Edgar in the middle of winter, which involved neither being indoors nor warm. Luckily I then came back to St Andrews as Curator of the Preservation Trust Museum, which was indoors, warm if you sat right next to the electric heater and involved getting fed lots of biscuits and cake by elderly volunteers. I’m now at the University of Dundee with a far broader range of collections, but still somehow ended up with an office in an 18th century building which only manages to stay warm for six months of the year. You can’t have everything…

Finally I would like to pay tribute to my friend and fellow MGS student Scott Reid, who sadly died far too young. He loved the course as much as I did and I wish he was still here to be able to write about it.