Developing the Next Generation Archivist

Hello! I’m Rachael, the new digital archives trainee working in Special Collections, Archives and Modern Manuscripts. I’ve been working here for eight weeks already, which have really raced by, so here is a little bit about what I’m doing!

I’m here at the Weston for two years as part of the Developing the Next Generation Archivist scheme which combines on-the-job training with studying for a postgraduate qualification in Archives Administration from Aberystwyth University. The traineeship is funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Skills for the Future programme, and has a focus on promoting digital archiving skills–crucial as more and more of the information we create is digital and risks becoming inaccessible as technology adapts and changes. So far I’ve been getting to grips with web archiving, and I’m looking forward to more opportunities to work on digital projects using the Bodleian’s Electronic Archives and Manuscripts (BEAM) facilities.

View from the office window

View from the office window

I’m really enjoying the variety that the traineeship offers. Every day is different. I might be working in the David reading Room where readers use the Oriental and Commonwealth collections; or helping to appraise and catalogue the Oxfam project files; uploading early 20th century accessions registers onto the collections management database; or even donning some gloves and preserving experimental materials in a scientific archive. Attending the Graduate Library Trainee sessions also provides weekly afternoons of information on different areas of Bodleian Library life.

This is such an exciting place to work, and I’m really looking forward to gaining more skills and experience over the next two years as I train to become a qualified archivist.

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