Introducing a Skills for the Future Trainee…

Mary DunneHello there. I’m Mary Dunne and I’m one of six trainees on the Scottish Council on Archives’ scheme, “Opening up Scotland’s Archives”.

Opening up Scotland’s Archives is part of the Skills for the Future training programme supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It’s led by the Scottish Council on Archives in partnership with The National Archives (UK), the Archives and Records Association UK and Ireland and the University of Dundee Centre for Archives and Information Studies. This three year project provides paid traineeships that will contribute to the care and development of Scotland’s archival heritage. The University of Glasgow Archive Services is one of the host organisations and has created a digital preservation traineeship as part of the programme.

I’ve taken a slightly circuitous route into archives via a degree in Fine Art and a career in TV production management. I’ve previously worked for broadcasters such as Channel 4 and Discovery, making popular science and natural-history documentaries. I’ve also utilised my project management skills in the audience development sector, helping groups of socially excluded young people in Edinburgh engage with the arts. I’ve spent the first two months of my traineeship learning about the inner workings of The University of Glasgow Archive Services (whilst trying not to get lost in the repositories) and immersing myself in the world of Digital Preservation. I’m also working with the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) at HATII so have the enormous benefit of all their expertise. I’m currently welded to Adrian Brown’s book “Practical Digital Preservation – a how-to guide for organizations of any size” – it’s my bible!

Last month I visited The National Archives in Kew with my fellow Trainees and attended another excellent Education and Outreach workshop run by Douglas Roberts of The Scottish Council on Archives. As part of my training plan, I will also benefit from a distance learning module on Digital Preservation via the Centre for Archives and Information Studies (CAIS) in Dundee. I’ve also assisted at DPC’s “Making Progress in Digital Preservation” event at Canary Wharf and attended a “Cataloguing Born Digital Materials” at UCL.

Being new to both Archives and Digital Preservation represents a steep learning curve, but it’s great to be given an opportunity to gain real work-experience with the invaluable input of so many highly-skilled professionals.

I look forward to posting regular updates throughout the year as I progress through my traineeship.



Categories: Archive Services

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