In October I started my traineeship at St. George’s Chapel Archives specialising in traditional skills. The past nine months have been filled with new experiences, people and opportunities, and it’s now my turn to reflect on my time, so far, as a Transforming Archives trainee.
Through studying medieval history at university, I discovered a love of Latin and palaeography. However, trying to find a role where skills in these subjects are required is not exactly an easy task. When I found the advertisement for this traineeship I thought it was a fantastic opportunity for me to build on my preexisting skills and to develop those necessary for a career in archives.
My traineeship is based at St. George’s Chapel Archives located within the walls of Windsor Castle. The Archives and Chapter Library are housed in one building, containing books, manuscripts, maps, drawings, photographs, letters and various other items that trace the history of the College of St. George. The earliest documents found in the Archives date from the 12th century.
The main project I work on in this traineeship is the transcription and translation of Treasurers’ Account Rolls from the 14th century. These rolls record valuable information about College finances, from how much was paid to the clergy and lay clerks, to how much was spent on building new houses. Even the cost of onion seeds, ingredients for verjuice and dung to fertilise the garden are recorded in these rolls, giving a brief glimpse into the minutiae of everyday, 14th century life. Stumbling across additions to the margins of these rolls always brings a smile to my face, especially the cartoonish pointed fingers known as manicules. One such manicule I came across formed the basis of an excellent feature on the Archives’ website by my colleague, Kate, Assistant Archivist at St. George’s Chapel Archives. Continue reading »