What’s it like to be a trainee? Harriet Costelloe, Graduate Trainee Digital Archivist 2014-2016

Being a Graduate Trainee Digital Archivist at the Bodleian Libraries has enabled me to be involved in a variety of collections work, engage with a range of individuals and expand my knowledge and understanding of archival processes relating to both physical and digital material. With an undergraduate degree and masters in History of Art and a year’s experience as an Archives Assistant, I came to the Bodleian Libraries eager to learn more about digital archiving because of its growing relevance in practices today. I have not only become competent in webarchiving and processing audio-visual material, but have also been introduced to a range of initiatives being undertaken currently to capture and preserve born-digital archives nationally. Alongside this, I have worked with and catalogued material dating as far back as the eighteenth-century, and have assisted readers at the Weston Library and been involved with the running of events and classes here. I am really enjoying working in Oxford and the breadth of the traineeship, which is complemented and strengthened by my distance-learning course at Aberystwyth. Studying for a postgraduate diploma in Archives Administration is enlightening and interesting – so far it has involved researching and submitting a report or essay every 6-8 weeks on a topic such as archival theory, preservation, appraisal and cataloguing. The work and time required to do this is made much more manageable through the support of my department, and I know I will really benefit from gaining the necessary qualification to be an archivist alongside the practical experience of the full-time traineeship.

Harriet Costelloe, Oct 2014

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