Podcast – Main

This is Museums n’That, a podcast by Leeds Museums & Galleries.

Museums attract passionate people like moths to a flame, and this podcast gets to the very heart of the things that make them tick, by asking the questions you actually want to know.

In this first series, your hosts Meg and Sara pour the tea over topics you never knew you needed to know about. Can you archive an orange? How do you clean a sculpture? What’s the greatest city in the world? (Spoiler alert: it’s Leeds).

So if that’s a bit of you, subscribe and listen to the first series on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcast kicks.

Cover artwork designed by Alex Finney. Theme tune produced by Tim Bentley.

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Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all the usual podcast suspects.

Episodes and show notes

Bonus: Who the flip are Meg and Sara?

Surprise! Our first (questionable) bonus episode.

Turns out Meg and Sara are literally museum professionals too, so get to know more about your favourite museum podcast hosts and what they do every day.

Find out about the good, the bad and the downright lovely sides of working with museum audiences, why museums need to change and the impact that working in social media can have on your mental health.

Listen, subscribe and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all the usual podcast suspects.

S2E3: The first Lighthouse Family

Trains! Jelly tots! Chicken Jalfrezi! All the major food groups in one delicious museum podcast. 

Curator of industrial history John McGoldrick tells us all about inventions made in the great, nay, greatest, city of Leeds. Find out what Dick Whittington’s got to do with railways, how to become an actual rocket scientist and what, definitively, is the best train.

Listen, subscribe and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all the usual podcast suspects.

S2E2: Elijah Wood bought all these turnips

Oh, this is a good one. Conor Clarke from the National Videogame Museum in Sheffield (the second greatest city in the world) has willingly, actually, genuinely come on the show.

We talk videogame history, and explore the logistics of collecting games as a museum. We cover the fundamentals too: Crash Bandicoot or Sonic? Would you sell your turnips to Elijah Wood? Who would play you in a videogame?
The answer is always Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

Listen, subscribe and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all the usual podcast suspects.

S2E1: Six legs, that’s a party

Bum silk nests. How to shave a moth. Harry Styles. We’re back, and starting Series 2 as we mean to go on.

Assistant Curator of Entomology Milo Phillips puts moths under the spotlight in this episode, and we explain the Leeds Museums & Galleries obsession with the little blighters. Swot up on cocoons, caterpillars, and crucially: who would win in a fight, the best ant, or the best bee?

It’s good to be back.

Listen, subscribe and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all the usual podcast suspects.

Series 2 Trailer

We’ve been debating whether to sacrifice the high quality of our recordings (that we’re so famous for) for series 2 by doing them remotely. The answer is yes! We’re going to. You’re welcome. We’re sorry in advance.

We’ll be covering topics like human remains, moths and inventions made in the greatest city in the world. Series 2 even features some actual real life guests, like Conor from the National Videogame Museum.

Listen, subscribe and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all the usual podcast suspects, complete with unwelcome house noises and internet connectivity issues. See you there.

S1E6: So it was flapping around a bit

Hold tight for sword fighting, Gandalf quotes and diggers that look a bit like hands. 

For the last episode of this first series, Meg and Sara interview Learning Officer Carl Newbould, who works with pupils with special educational needs and disabilities to give them experiences of the world of work. In other words, Carl has the loveliest job.

Discover what that actually means in practice, why Meg hates Paris and which celebrity Carl’s a dead ringer for.

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S1E5: They call him fruit punch mouth

This one’s a corker. Discover why fish and chips are bad, who’s got tiny little teeth and the arty love affair that never actually quite happened.

You’ll also do some very good ‘learns’ too – what’s the deal with Henry Moore? Why is some art considered art when it looks a bit like you could have done it? What happens if you accidentally break a sculpture?

Find out everything you ever really wanted to know about sculpture as Meg and Sara interview Dr. Rebecca Wade: sculpture expert, curator extraordinaire and Buffy fan.

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S1E4: Japanese tea flavoured KitKats, maybe

Meg and Sara get the tea on the wonderful country of Japan from Adam Jaffer, World Cultures curator at Leeds Museums and Galleries.

We also discover what Humboldt Squids have to do with Peruvian mummies, the incredible commitment of the Shinto monks and, most importantly, where on literal Earth Antarctica even is.

Please be aware that this episode contains discussions about mummification and ritual suicide.

Listen, subscribe and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all the usual podcast suspects.

S1E3: I just like the word ‘mooli’

Meg and Sara interview Chris Sharp, Assistant Community Curator at Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills and Thwaite Watermill, and owner of the longest job title in history.

Chris talks through his work with local community groups, and how he facilitates people experiencing the museum on their own terms. We cover gardening, mental health, dementia and alpacas in jumpers. And takeaways.

This one’s a lovely cuddle for your ears.

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S1E2: It was an orange and we had no idea what to do with it

Meg and Sara interview Errin Hussey, Archivist for The Henry Moore Institute and Leeds Museums and Galleries.

Errin spills the beans on what archives actually are: how they’re stored, how you should hold them and what happens when the thing you’re archiving is actually an orange.

Find out about Bruce Springsteen’s archive, what happened with a packet of biscuits in 1960 and how to pronounce Pearl Jam correctly.

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S1E1: Slugs in ethanol and Julia Roberts

In this first episode, Meg and Sara introduce themselves before interviewing Rebecca Machin, Curator of Natural Science at Leeds Museums and Galleries.

Find out why preserving a caterpillar is especially gross, how one very special gorilla ended up in our collection and most importantly of all, what it’s like to shake David Attenborough’s hand.

Please be aware that this episode features quite graphic discussions about taxidermy and animal anatomy. Taxidermy is the process of using animal skin to make a model of how the animal looked when it was alive. Museums use taxidermy for education and research, and Leeds Museums and Galleries does not kill animals for display.

Taxidermy has been used as a way of preserving animals for centuries. Before television and zoos, most people only got to see wild and exotic animals by looking at taxidermy in museums. Some taxidermy was produced as hunting trophies but modern museum taxidermy is undertaken with complete respect for the animals and out of a need for education and research.

Listen, subscribe and leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all the usual podcast suspects.