A May Session excavation unearthed a dream assignment at the National Museum of Ireland.
Posted by Rebecca Webb from a previous press release on Monday, Oct. 5, 2009
As a junior, Ryan Barland attended the 2007 Study Abroad May session, Dig Tulsk, in Ireland, expecting to gain archaeological experience. He did indeed carry out excavations and site surveys as part of the Medieval Rural Settlement Project at Tulsk, intended to examine rural settlement and landscape in medieval Ireland. But he also met Eamonn (Ned) Kelly, the Keeper of Irish Antiquities at the National Museum of Ireland (NMI) in Dublin. The curator was so impressed with Barland's college coursework and appreciation for museums that he suggested applying for an internship with the NMI. Thanks in part to the efforts of his adviser and Tom McRoberts of UMM's Study Abroad office, Barland spent the following fall working full time at the NMI, learning firsthand the inner workings of a national museum.
There were gallery openings and exhibitions to plan, objects to research, artifacts to transport and symposiums to attend. But Barland's favorite part of each day came at 11 a.m. when all museum employees would gather for tea, scones, and conversation. I think I learned just as much during our conversations then as I did during the rest of the day, Barland recalls. As is often the case in any institution, these conversations were where some of the most exciting work gets done.
Photo: Ryan Barland on site at Tulsk, County Roscommon
Read the original press relese.