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Contact Details

Elen Phillips
Social & Cultural History
St Fagans National Museum of History

Phone: +44 (0)29 2057 3432

Staff Name

Elen Phillips

Job Title

Principal Curator Contemporary & Community History

Areas of Responsibility:

Contemporary collecting; public engagement; community collaboration and participation; co-curation; First World War centenary. Collection responsibilities: Dress (fashion, workwear, accessories, Welsh Costume, official robes and uniforms); Textile crafts.

Qualifications, memberships and relevant positions

BA (Hons) History (Aberystwyth), MA Welsh Ethnological Studies (Cardiff), Post Graduate Diploma Museums Studies (Leicester); Museums Association (Individual member); Ethnology and Folk Studies Section, University of Wales Alumni Association (Committee member); Women’s Archive Wales (Individual member).

Research Interests

Participatory curatorial practice; contemporary collecting methodologies; history of curatorship at St Fagans National History Museum; use of social media platforms to share primary source material; object biographies; micro history.

Quilting and craft-based employment schemes in Wales between the wars; St Fagans Castle and voluntary action during the First World War; men and needlework; Welsh Costume as an identity signifier. 


Contemporary collecting, co-curation, social impact, participation, identity and representation.


Selected Publications

Hughes, S. & Phillips, E. 2019. From Vision to Action: The journey towards activism at St Fagans National Museum of History. In R. Janes & R. Sandell (eds), Museum Activism (London & New York: Routledge), 245-255.

Phillips, E. 2019. Quilting Venice / Cwiltio Fenis. In S. Edwards, Undo Things Done (Liverpool & Wrexham: Bluecoat/Ty Pawb), 33-47.

Phillips, E. 2014. A picture of the past and a mirror of the present: Iorwerth Peate and the origins of the Welsh Folk Museum. In Z. Baveystock and O. Rhys (eds), Collecting the Contemporary (Edinburgh & Cambridge, MA: Museums Etc), 40-62.

Phillips, E. 2013. Touching Objects: St Fagans National History Museum. Museum Practice, (February 2013).

Prichard, S. (ed.) 2010. Quilts 1700-2010: Hidden Histories, Untold Stories (London: V&A Publishing). (E. Phillips catalogue entry).

Neuland-Kitzerow, D. et al (eds) 2009. Inlaid Patchwork in Europe from 1500 to the Present (Berlin: Museum of European Cultures). (E. Phillips catalogue entry).

Hughes, S., Phillips, E. & Rhys, Owain, 2008, Pop Peth: exhibiting contemporary music in a gallery context [PDF], Collectingnet Newsletter, 3.

Phillips, E. 2006. Reconstructing St Teilo’s Church, Material Religion: The Journal of Objects,  Art and Belief, 2, issue 2.

Blog Entries

Elan Llwyd - Fforwm Ieuenctid Sain Ffagan
7 September 2016
by Elen Phillips
13 January 2015
by Elen Phillips
19 December 2014