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Archives internship - week two

I experienced a somewhat startling beginning to my second week as I very stupidly managed to set off the alarm in the archives room first thing on Monday morning!  Definitely awake after that, my first task of the week was updating the database with Lorraine and carrying on with the archives preparation for Buckinghamshire County Museum. I’ve had many different tasks to keep me busy throughout the week; on Wednesday I began the process of digitally scanning the documentary archives, making them accessible digitally as well as in paper form. Thursday presented another new experience, as I went from working with the documentary archive to working in the finds room, cleaning a variety of artefacts from a dig in Cheddar which will eventually form part of the physical archive. I enjoyed cleaning the pottery, some of which had survived well and had unusual glazes and markings on it.

1298 Linda Coleman explaining digital archives to Catherine

Additionally, I have been doing some background reading and I am beginning to realise just how specific the different archive guidelines are and how guidelines for one museum can be quite different from another. The guidelines all involve stringent rules for how archives should be prepared. It is not as simple as gathering them all together and putting them on a shelf in a room, there are many considerations to be made from the size of the storage containers to the temperature and humidity of the room they are stored in. After my first two weeks I now have a number of varied tasks, relating to the different elements of archiving, to work through while I am here. With my many to-do lists in tow hopefully I can keep track of everything!
By Catherine Coates


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