Learning About Archives in 2017

Since starting the blog in October, I’ve blogged about my experience thus far of the MA in Archives & Records Management at UCL and some of my student worries, posted some quotes about archives, archivists, and the preservation of history, reported on an Archives & Records Association speaker meeting, shared some festive items from our family archive, and explored some items from the Teams of Our Lady Transatlantic Super-Regional Archive. It’s been a busy time on the blog!

So, what’s coming up for me in 2017?

My MA continues. As I’m studying part-time over two years, I’ll be studying two modules through the Spring term (continuing with Concepts and Contexts and starting Introduction to Digital Curation), and then I won’t be back in for lectures until the Autumn term starts again in October. I have a plan for my MA dissertation, so I started the background research over the Christmas holiday, and I’ll keep working at it over the coming year. When I wrote my undergraduate dissertation I started work on it as soon as my second year exams had finished, 11 months before the final dissertation submission. I worked at it over the whole 11 months and came out with a first for my final submission. Spending a long time reading, conducting the research, and working through the writing up process really worked well for me. It just seems sensible to use up my time during the week and over the summer months starting the work for my postgraduate dissertation, so that I’m not rushed when it comes to writing it up in the summer months of 2018 (it seems so far away!)

I’m still volunteering at the University of Northampton Archive, and also for the Teams of Our Lady Transatlantic Super-Regional Archive, of which I have sole responsibility for. I’ll be continuing these two volunteering roles, which I absolutely love. The work involved for each role is different and really interesting, I’m very fortunate to be able to work in both of these roles. I’ve my Dad’s birthday weekend in Stratford-Upon-Avon, and my cousin’s hen weekend and wedding to attend in the first two months of the year. After that, the diary is pretty empty. There will be university work to hand in, blogging to do, I’ve written up a 2017 action plan to fulfil for the Teams Archive, and I’ll be ramping up the work on my dissertation, so I won’t be short of work.

What’s coming up on the blog in 2017?

Learning About Archives is something that I set up to explore my progress from student to archives professional, and I would rather blog about my experiences as I experience them, rather than make plans for a future that I haven’t experienced yet. Having said that, there are some subjects that I do want to explore.

In the theme of progressing through the student phase, I intend to continue blogging about my experience of the MA in Archives & Records Management at UCL. My broad aims for this include: blogging about my experiences of the coursework, about the dissertation process, about my experience as a student at UCL.

I also intend to continue blogging about the Teams Archive. I have already posted some blogs over the last two months about interesting or humorous items that I have come across during the cataloguing process, but in 2017 I would like to blog about the archive more generally, how it’s set up, what it holds etc. I have two blogs in the drafting stages as part of a new series ‘The Teams Archive Collections’. This series does what it says, and explores the collections in the archive. The aim will be to post one blog in this series per month. The Newsletters collection is the largest and most comprehensive collection in the Archive, and so the series will begin here.

I joined the Archives & Records Association in 2017 and wrote a blog post reporting on a London region ARA speaker meeting that I attended in October, on the theme ‘I Never Thought I’d Archive That’. This is the blog post that received the most views last year, and was retweeted in Twitter by many people (thank you!) In 2017 I would like to attend more ARA meetings, and the annual conference, and then to blog about my experiences there.

One of my early blog posts looked at the subject of what makes a record. Looking back, I can see the the content was quite juvenile, as I’d just started my MA, and had only just started to think more deeply about archives and records management issues. I’d like to develop my writing on archives and records management issues over the coming year, and try to explore some themes more deeply.

Lots to think about! Do you have any exciting plans for 2017?



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