In December Explore Your Archive put out a call for volunteers to help expand their campaign and build on previous successes. We had a great response from people with a wide range of experience and interests in the sector. These volunteers will be joining the ARA Board Member who runs and oversees the campaign. As our January theme is ‘new,’ we thought it would be a good opportunity to introduce you to those who are working behind the scenes in the new Explore Your Archive team.
Our new Campaign Officer, Rosie is responsible for keeping the rest of the team on the same page, and representing EYA to others. Rosie did her training in York, but now lives in Amsterdam, where she works as a government archive inspector. While she enjoys getting to visit lots of different archives, Rosie’s real passion is archival outreach, especially to those outside the sector (mostly because she’s sick of answering the question “so what does an archivist actually do?”). As such, she has joined the EYA team to indulge this passion, and to hopefully spread the word that archival material is not only varied and interesting, but can also be quite fun!
The two Blog Coordinators, Katie and Alice, are responsible for curating and uploading the blog posts created by our contributors. They are the first point of contact for those wishing to post to the website. Katie has mainly worked on Archives Revealed projects after completing her MA in Archives and Records Management at UCD. She is looking forward to this opportunity to be more involved in outreach and explore the fascinating projects, records, and stories that repositories throughout the UK and Ireland hold. She is also keen to promote archives and repositories that may be small or have a niche remit to a wider audience. When not busy with the blog coordination team, Alice is a PhD student working on ‘Archive and Narrative in the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum’, a collaborative doctoral project between the University of Stirling and the National Library of Scotland. She has an MSc in Information Management and Preservation from the University of Glasgow, and before returning to studying worked at Lothian Health Services Archive at the University of Edinburgh. Alice is particularly interested in rapid response collecting, the impact of the digital on collecting practices, and how heritage bodies can use the internet to reach new audiences.
Randeep and Chloe are Social Media Officer’s and are taking over the campaign’s twitter page. In normal life Randeep works as an insurance claims handler and was drawn to this opportunity whilst looking for things to do during downtime from work. She enjoyed being involved in outreach whilst at university and is looking forward to highlighting the works of different archives and learning more about their projects and collections. Chloe is hoping to develop her knowledge of archives and the heritage sector, which will be useful to help contextualise her future studies, as well as improving her social media skills. She is really looking forward to helping to promote collections across the UK and Ireland – and discovering something new every day!
Our Facebook page will be getting a revamp from our Facebook Social Media Officers. Rachel is currently a masters student at the University of Glasgow studying Information Management and Preservation. She looks forward to generating some exciting online discourse within the sector. Stefania graduated in 2018 with a degree in Italian and History from Edinburgh University. She hopes to get a lot out of this volunteering opportunity, as she is interested in building up her experience in the heritage field, most specifically in increasing engagement with archives, libraries and heritage sites. This role will be really valuable experience for her and she is really excited about becoming more familiarised with the huge number of archives throughout the UK and hopefully becoming more skilled in outreach and social media marketing.
The EYA campaign has recently established an Instagram page @exploreyourarchive. Our Instagram Social Media Officers Jo and Karen have done a great job in setting it up and we hope that everyone will take a look and give us a follow. Jo currently works as an Archive Assistant in a County Record Office. She hopes to be able to give back to a campaign which she has used a lot in her day job over the last few years! Karen is a Library Marketing Assistant for St Helens Library Service and manages their social media platforms. She put her name forward for the Social Media Officer role – Instagram specific – given that Explore Your Archive didn’t yet have an Instagram account she thought it would be exciting and challenging setting up this account from scratch. She was excited for this role as it gives her an opportunity to put her digital marketing skills to use in a different field as well as gaining more knowledge about archives, collections, repositories projects that are happening across the country that she can pass on to her colleagues at St Helens Library Service and use in her full-time employment role.
A new role, web development, was created due to the number of responses to the call out. They will be redeveloping the website and adding new material to help promote the work of EYA and providing resources. Janet works at Durham Cathedral Library and Collections. She has been working in the cultural heritage sector for seven years, after completing a doctorate in medieval studies. In her current role she works primarily on digitisation, collections care and outreach. Her areas of special interest include archives and museums, and digital humanities. Steph is a trainee archivist, volunteering at Carlisle Cathedral and Sedbergh School. She is an Associate Researcher at Newcastle University and holds a PhD in early modern music book history. With previous roles in heritage education and arts administration, Steph is really interested in public engagement with archives and is excited to be part of the EYA web development team to give an online platform for all sorts of repositories. Stacey is currently a postgraduate student on the ‘Information Management and Preservation’ course at the University of Glasgow. In working with Explore Your Archive web team, Stacey is looking forward to bringing exciting new content to the website featuring various different archives with smaller platforms! She is looking forward to working with archives to be able to show off their collections remotely!
The whole team is looking forward to getting stuck into this year’s campaign and all your responses. We hope to build on the great work that has been done in previous years and to add new resources. Please keep an eye on our social media and website for themes and blog posts.