I have been based at Peterborough Archives for the past 10 months, and my traineeship has primarily focused on outreach and engagement within archives. I have been involved with a wide range of archival duties over the last year and my traineeship has enabled me to gain excellent practical experience of working within archives and the heritage sector.
BeforeÂ applying for the traineeship, I hadnâ€™t previously considered a career in archives. Having studied History and Philosophy at university, I was interested in pursuing a career which was related to my degree â€“ albeit I had no idea what that might be! Having stumbled across the Transforming Archives trainee role online, the position seemed like a great opportunity to use my interest in history and heritage while learning and developing new skills.
My main responsibility at Peterborough Archives has been to lead and manage a cataloguing project. I am currently working with groups of volunteers to catalogue the records of the Soke of Peterborough County Council. Itâ€™s an interesting collection as the council controlled Peterborough and the surrounding area from 1889-1965, a period of huge change for the city. Documents relate to the development of the city centre, the construction and management of the Memorial Hospital and workhouse in the period before the NHS, and Peterborough during the two world wars. My responsibilities have included designing and creating volunteer roles; advertising and promoting the project and roles to a wide audience; and recruiting, interviewing and supervising groups of volunteers on the project. I provide training and instruction at each stage of the cataloguing process from handling archival records, conducting basic archival conservation and preservation techniques to describing documents. This has given me the chance to teach my newly learnt archival skills to groups of volunteers. Continue reading »