As a Digital Archivist trainee, you get the best of both worlds. Not only is the programme tailored to equip anyone new to archives with the skillset you need to get a professional qualification in Archive Administration (with an emphasis on the digital curation aspect of it), but you also get to participate in the wider graduate trainee programme that the Bodleian Libraries offers.
I have a STEM background with an MSc in Ethnobotany and research experience. One of the things that really drew me to this traineeship was that I saw first hand all the data and papers generated by research groups and labs that are now born-digital. These are materials that future researchers will want to use whether to replicate experiments or to build on previous research; yet very little thought has gone into their long term preservation.
This traineeship gives me a wide range of practical experience in traditional and digital curation roles while also supporting me as I work towards a professional qualification with Aberystwyth University. Some of the things I’ve done include; working with the British Library on archiving the web, cataloguing hybrid collections, going to conferences and workshops on current issues in digital archives, and much more.
That doesn’t mean that the more traditional aspects of archives are neglected though, and because this traineeship was developed with Aberystwyth’s distance-learning course in mind, often the two dovetail neatly. While it takes a good deal of time management to juggle the two, I prefer the accelerated pace because what you learn stays fresh in your mind and you can quickly see its application in your day to day work.
I am really enjoying the experience and look forward to what the next year brings.
Emily Chen, Oct 2014