It was a bit hectic being one of the first Graduate Trainee Digital Archivists, starting our funded course, and preparing for the move to the Weston; but now that we’ve started a new year I thought it would be a good time to have a look back at the first few months of my traineeship (now that I feel like an old hand!).
Though we attend many of the same skills and development workshops as the Library Trainees, our traineeship focuses on the archives sector, and more specifically, on providing practical experience with the digital curation skills necessary in our technologically driven age. The Bodleian Libraries is supported in their Developing the Next Generation Archivist project through funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Skills for the Future programme.
You’ve probably already seen my colleague’s post about what a week in the life of our traineeship is like, so I guess I’ll talk a bit about the challenges and opportunities that have come up for us. We started both the traineeship and the first Study School for our distance learning course in Archives Administration in September. It was quite funny that because we worked together and were in the same programme people assumed we’d known each other for years when in actuality I’d only met Harriet a week ago!
The Study School was a great introduction to archival theory but when we returned to Oxford we jumped straight into the intensely practical application of packing up our department for the move to the newly refurbished Weston Library. The logistics involved in moving our sensitive collections was eye-opening though it went surprisingly smoothly except for some of our computer equipment which came out a bit worse for wear.
Once we settled into our new open plan offices (with the amazing view!) it was really good to have all of Special Collections under one roof (except when you’re queuing for the kettle on your tea break). I really enjoy the variety and flexibility we have as trainees to work on the different aspects of archiving (especially with born-digital content); and once a week I even get to see readers when I work in the David Reading Room!