I’m finally at the end of my internship here at ADS, which has flown by. I’ve learned a lot and have been able to appreciate some of the intricacies of what goes on behind the scenes at an organisation such as ADS.
I started off working on the library, starting off by updating the entries for Internet Archaeology. Which inspired me to write this blog post. I also did some tidying up of entries in the library. Doing this made me not only appreciate what a huge resource it is but also led to me falling down many, many rabbit holes. I especially love some of the publications from before 1850 and their illustrations. Looking at the older reports from local and regional archaeology and antiquarian societies also made me appreciate how the library also represents the history of British archaeology and how much of our discipline is built on these earlier efforts.
One of these earlier regional journals is Archaeologia Aeliana which has just been made available in the library. It represents my first effort at learning the ins and outs of digital archiving. It was a challenging task that took longer than I had anticipated, but was a great way of seeing how all the various tools and processes used by ADS work together. Thanks to the help and patience of the archiving team I was able to negotiate the heady waters of format migration and collection management systems. I’ve also been working on archiving some of the image collections from ADSeasy, including these collections. It’s really rewarding to have worked on the various aspects of the archiving process on both large digitised journal collections such as Archaeologia Aeliana as well as smaller project archives from commercial units, and to see these archives online and available.
As well as the archiving tasks I’ve also been able to work on the Help section of the ADS website by improving the FAQs and working on the new help section. This is so that people using the library will be able to edit and manage their entries more simply, and giving depositors more control over how their library collections are presented. This should be online soon! This was a chance to pick up and improve some web skills which I’ve been wanting to learn for ages, it was also really interesting to be thinking about issues like accessibility and online resources.
I undertook this internship as part of the requirements for my masters course in Outreach and Development for Archaeological Heritage (University of Paris-Sorbonne). Working at ADS has been part of an intense but satisfying year in which I’ve changed my approach and attitude to archaeological practice and its place in the wider world. I’m really happy to have had the chance to work here for a few months, I’ve not only learned new practical and soft skills but have also benefited from working with people who have been really supportive and made me feel like part of their team. Thanks everybody!