So, today I did my first day as what felt like a real researcher. I have conducted interviews before, asking a series of questions of various people in various situations, but today felt different. I had to get a proper buy-in from my participants. I managed to get four families to agree to take photographs for me during their visits to the Ashmolean. Three were happy to be interviewed at a later date (two within the weekend and one over the summer when I can pop back) and one wanted to be interviewed on the day. This is where the learning curve came in:
– getting camera developed within an hour is fine, provided you don’t have a deadline.
– taking 20 minutes out to go and fetch the cameras invariably leads to missing people dropping cameras off and arranging set times for the interviews.
So, I have an interview completed, one for Monday and two that require arrangement. I am hoping that I achieve all four interviews. If not, it is not a problem as long as I achieve two interviews which is my self determined target for any museum at which I am researching.
Other things I have encountered today were things such as a lovely man with five hats on, that if you are doing anything with some sort of authority in a museum people will ask you things and most people who go to the Ashmolean are relatively well dressed (I am not sure why as there isn’t really a dress code in museums). One of the other things I noticed was that toddlers adore revolving doors. After watching a few parents with toddlers (and I have to admit there were quite a few who had come in to meet other parents with toddlers) that a toddler led tour of a museum could be an amazing thing. Just follow the direction they are pointing in and see what exciting thing they have seen. One father seemed to be doing just that and he looked like he was having an enormous amount of fun!
Many of the visitors seemed genuinely interested in my research whether they fitted my requirements or not. The museum staff were lovely, helpful and welcoming.
I will try and work out some of the logistical issues before my next museum, but at least I now know that it can be done and this dissertation will have data!