Museum copywriting and research

Caroline Ellis

Museum and exhibition copywriter

Freelance writer

Specialising in clear writing from often complex content

Extensive experience of writing for all markets and in a wide range of media

Experienced researcher from primary sources

Over thirty years experience of managing and working in museums, archives and libraries



Museum, Archive and Library Manager  (2012-1985)

Head of Special Collections (The Women’s Library and the TUC Library Collections), London Metropolitan University

Manager, Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery

Head of Collections (including the National Film and Television Archive), British Film Institute

Curator and Head of Museum Division, Museum of the Moving Image, British Film Institute

Curator, Cuming Museum, Southwark

Curator, Bexley Museums

Collections Officer  (1979-85)

Museum Assistant, Cataloguing, Maidstone Museums and Art Gallery

Cataloguing Assistant, Archaeological Section, National Monuments Record, Royal Commission on Historical Documents


Museum Copywriter and researcher

Exhibitions and Displays:  over 20 exhibitions and many more displays on local and social history, British and overseas archaeology, film and television history, decorative arts, ethnography, sport, collecting, and learning projects.

The subjects covered range from agriculture, Medieval history and the Home Front, to Japanese ceramics, cinema architecture and sewing machines.

Marketing and PR: for all print and signage, press releases and online copy

Funding applications and capital projects.

Reports for governing bodies, funders and stakeholders

2018:  Voice and Vote: Women’s place in Parliament – research, object research, outlines and part of development team at Metaphor designers for this national celebration of women’s suffrage and contributions to Parliament.

2017:  Poole Museums Development – research, stakeholder and staff consultation, compilation and writing of Metaphor’s masterplanning report for Poole’s Museums.

2017: Museum and historical research for the Tunbridge Wells Cultural and Learning Hub, producing reports `Collections: An overview of objects throughout the Tunbridge Wells Hub’, and `Experiencing the Collections: the audiences, themes, collections and activities throughout the Tunbridge Wells Hub’.  Working with designers Metaphor, the project has achieved HLF Stage 2 funding.

2015:  Research for the Silverstone Heritage Project, producing reports on RAF Silverstone, Silverstone’s Racing Heritage, Silverstone village and people, and Luffield Priory.  Working with designers Mather and Co., the BRD (British Racing Drivers) Archive and the Project Team at Silverstone.  The Project achieved Stage 2 HLF funding.

2014: Copywriting and copyediting text for The Green Howards Museum Development Project in Richmond, North Yorkshire.  Working with Director and designers Studio MB.


Freelance Writer

2012-2014Features published in BRITAIN magazine, Best of British, Bygone Kent and Your Cat

pre-2012:  Published in the Museums Journal, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, London Museums Bulletin and other local and museum publications.


Areas of expertise


Knowledgeable in a wide range of subjects and collections, particularly archaeology and history, social history, film, television and popular culture, fine and decorative arts, the built environment and sport

Experienced researcher familiar with archival and primary sources

Background of working with curators and subject specialists


Specialises in clear and concise writing for specified markets

Proficient in writing for wide range of markets and intellectual access, and in all media

Familiar with the role and integration of copywriting in projects

Experienced in focusing on the objectives and brief of a project


Advocate for and practitioner in the widening of meaning of collections and displays beyond the traditional curatorial voice

Experienced as a facilitator of community curation

Experienced practitioner in disability issues in communication, with background facilitating access groups and audits.


B.A. (Hons) Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean, University of Liverpool

Associate of the Museums Association (A.M.A.)

Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (F.R.S.A.)


Past and present member of museum and archive committees and panels, including the Museums Association Editorial Panel, Black Cultural Archives, London Museums Group, London Hub Collections, Kent Museums Group, MLA SE Archive and Museum panels and Renaissance in the Regions.

Member of the Association of Freelance Writers



  1. Hello, I would like to invite you to tender for a copy polishing role.

    Please would you send me your contact details, if interested.

    Best wishes


  2. Lou

    I have a brief that I would like to send you.
    Could you send me contact details if you are interested.

    1. Hi Lou – my email address is, with thanks, Caroline.

  3. Ellie King

    Dear Caroline,

    I am a PhD student research museum exhibitions and I am interested in talking to you about your work. Do you have an email on which I can contact you on to discuss this please.

    Best wishes,

    Ellie King

    PhD Candidate
    1401031 |
    Warwick Manufacturing Group, University of Warwick
    Oxford University Museum of Natural History
    AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Programme

    1. Dear Ellie
      Thank you for your email. Unfortunately due to family matters i am unable to commit much time to this side of life at the moment, but if you would like to email me any particular matters or queries, I will do my best to get back to you on them.
      With apologies and best wishes, Caroline. (

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s