Friday, 19 June 2015

Helping to bring out your inner archivist (or conservator)!

We say goodbye to our fantastic intern, Aline, today. She’s spent the last ten weeks with the LHSA team, and they’ve flown by! Although Aline’s time was focused on our case note cataloguing project, we made sure she got lots of other, more general, experience to help her future career in the archive sector. Here’s Aline giving a presentation yesterday, where she told Centre for Research Collections colleagues what she had learnt during her internship. If you follow us on Facebook, you might recognise this picture from yesterday’s post!

Whenever one of our internships comes to an end, we take stock and look at what worked and what didn’t, so that we can make the next internship we offer even better. I’m pleased to say Aline had lots of positive things to say about the programme we organised for her, and about the kind of teaching and guidance we provided for someone interested in learning more about the principles that govern archival and conservation activity.
In the last week Louise and I have had a couple of interesting opportunities to offer that kind of teaching and guidance in different settings. Louise stayed close to home, taking part in a workshop as part of the European Association for Health Information and Libraries conference held in Edinburgh. This was organised in collaboration with the International Conference for Animal Health Information Specialists and the International Clinical Librarian Conference. It’s an international event and around 250 delegates attended. The Centre for Research Collections offered a workshop to help librarians and information professionals get to grips with what it means to be an archivist, and how archive collections can be used for research in the health-related subject areas the delegates are interested in. I was in London, at the British Library, teaching part of the ‘Essential Preservation’ course offered in partnership with West Dean College. I gave an introduction to best practice handling and storage of special collections, some background to writing a preservation policy and then a bit of guidance on how to communicate conservation activity and where sources of information and help might be found. While the main aim of a session like this is to help those new to the preservation of rare/unique collections, it’s also a great chance for me to promote LHSA and our services and reflect on our own practices, often through some challenging questions posed by those attending!  

Ruth Honeybone, LHSA Manager 


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