As my year as graduate trainee draws to an end, it seems like a good time to reflect on my last two placements.
As document delivery assistant I was responsible for producing items for readers and staff, as well as file retrievals for various departments in the university. This required me to prioritise tasks to ensure good time management so items were delivered on time, whilst also relieving the searchroom assistant for breaks. This was a great way of showing myself it is possible to juggle many tasks whilst working to a tight time frame.
My final placement had been searchroom assistant which I have particularly enjoyed thanks to the newly refurbished facilities. Many visitors make an appointment before to visit the searchroom but many just turn up which keeps me on my toes. I have enjoyed meeting a variety of people from family historians to academics and assisting them with their research when possible. The duty archivist is always on hand if collections need to be discussed more thoroughly or if there are any access restrictions.
Finding aids such as databases; online catalogue and paper catalogues are available to all visitors and have enjoyed showing readers how to access them. I am responsible for making sure the searchroom rules are adhered to and setting up material on supports to ensure preservation for the future.
I am sad to have finished my traineeship but am looking forward to the next challenge- completing the Masters Archive and Records Management course at Glasgow University. The course starts in September and I am positive everything I have learned over the last year will be invaluable in my future career.
Archive Assistant (Graduate Trainee)
If you are interested in becoming an archivist or getting some voluntary experience of working in an archive please see our website for more information.