Samuel Ali

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Heritage Trainee 
Museum of Croydon 

I’ve worked as trainee at Museum of Croydon gaining experience in digital marketing, exhibitions, interpretation and collections access. Having previously worked in a national museum, I learnt how a museum service can be delivered on a smaller scale with volunteer support and a focus on local history. I particularly enjoy developing archives and collections to diversify audiences and increase public involvement.  

At the Museum of Croydon, I worked on collections connected with World War 1 and on an exhibition about the Fairfield Halls venue. I had the opportunity to research stories on Black history and share these to tell a wider story about the collections. I hope to continue to work in archives and collections with a focus on widening access. I would like to specialise in archival work and develop my knowledge. This way, I hope that I can assist researchers in shedding new light on history. Working with volunteers and the local community is important to me and I hope I can do this too. 

Using various sources, including the Museum archives, I was able to research the lives of two Trinidadian brothers, Ralph and Otho Vignalë, who had lived in Croydon prior to WW1 and subsequently volunteered with the British Army during the war. I examined the casualties of the British West Indies Regiment and presented my research in a pop-up display in the Museum. 

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