Hi, I’m the new Archives Assistant in the Oxford University Archives. I’m not technically a library trainee but just here for a year and also hoping to tag along to some of the training!
Before I came to Oxford I did my BA in History at the University of Chester, and my MA at Manchester University as well as volunteering at Chethams Library and working as a Libraries and Archives Trainee at Stockport Local Heritage Library. I’m hoping to do the postgraduate course to qualify as an Archivist after my year here.
Luckily for me Sian, last years Archives Assistant, was here for my first week and so I was able to shadow her and learn the basics. I am mainly based in the tower of the Bodleian Library, where we have been responding to email enquiries, and then taking material to Duke Humfrey’s Library (where the Archives material is viewed) as well as spending some time down in the basement of the Examination Schools where some of the Archives are kept.
So far I have began to understand that there are two things plentiful in this job: 1. Information to be learnt (every preconception I had of Oxford University administration has quickly gone out of the window ) and 2. Stairs (working in both the basement of the Examination Schools and the tower of the Bodleian involves alot of climbing of stairs, especially the spiral staircase up to the office. I am hoping I will get used to this!)