What’s it like to be a trainee? Carl Cooper, Graduate Trainee Digital Archivist 2017-2019

I studied History as an undergraduate at Goldsmiths University of London, during this time I undertook an internship at St Paul’s Cathedral in the Collections Department gaining an introduction into Collections Management and Archiving. After my first internship I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the heritage sector once I graduated. After university I worked on a digitisation project at the Royal Airforce Museum in London. This gave me an insight into record management and the importance of digital media and the issues surrounding preservation and access for both traditional mediums and born digital material.

The traineeship is great and I enjoy all aspects of the work I am involved in. My days are well structured but varied. I am currently working on a number of projects including the Conservative Party Archives, Roy Strong’s personal papers and legal deposit web archiving work. Some days I work on enquires, these come from all over the world and are expanding my knowledge of the archives and collections held by the Bodleian. Learning new software and programmes is also an essential part of the role that I enjoy and I am looking forward to using more applications as the traineeship progresses.

Working full time and completing a postgraduate course in Digital curation can be challenging but the study school and support from colleagues and my fellow trainees makes this aspect fun and enjoyable. Being able to take what I learn at work and apply it directly to my studies and vice versa is extremely beneficial as is the knowledge and experience of those around me.

Carl Cooper, May 2019

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