Experiencing Work in the Archives

During my Year 10 work experience this week I have been delving into the mysteries of the University of Huddersfield Archives, leaving with an increased knowledge of the Rugby League Collection, and a greater familiarity with the professional activities of Archivists. I wasn’t sure whether I would find the work in this area rewarding, in fact there was a sense of accomplishment to digging up historical documents and artifacts, and then marvelling at the secrets and gems of knowledge they held.

Throughout the course of the week I was introduced to many aspects of an Archivist’s occupation, allowing me to more deeply appreciate their work. Assisting the Rugby League Archivist, I helped to preserve and conserve the treasures and artifacts of Dai Jenkins the legendary Rugby Player, handling a number of fragile materials. I have also contributed to the effort of listing and recording of many items in the Rugby League collection within the Archive.

The Dai Jenkins Collection before re-packaging.
The Dai Jenkins Collection before re-packaging.

I have also completed some conservation cleaning of student registers which date back to the 1930’s, which is part of the Archives five year collections management plan, and in preparation for the seismic endeavour (and that’s just the drilling outside the window!) that the Archive is undertaking in September, of relocating its entire collection to a new £2 million archive facility.

Cleaning the 1930s student registers of the Huddersfield Technical College.
Cleaning the 1930s student registers of the Huddersfield Technical College.

I go back to school with great memories of working with the University and Rugby League collections, and a greater proficiency in the work undertaken by the staff and appreciation of the world of archives. Making my time fun and enjoyable the staff took their time and treated me with equality as they allowed me to glimpse the potential and countless interpretations of archive collections.

~~~~~ Posted by Chris, Year 10