This week Philip from Derby undertook a work placement at the Record Office and has written this post to share his experience
“While on Work Experience at the Derbyshire Record Office I have worked in a large variety of areas. These varied from the Conservation of Documents to helping to create the Offices new digital catalogue through the FindersKeepers project. I was astonished at the breath of what is done there and was surprised when I was even able to further improve my IT skills by helping them advance their wikipedia page and got to be involved in the digitisation of photographs through Picture the Past. The Office and Local Studies Library contains a vast number of treasures of which I had the opportunity to explore just a handful. One of these that I found every interesting where the letters and leaflets written by David Pole who was a Labour MP for South Derbyshire from 1929 to 1931. His political career had started in 1918 and he had written over many issues that are now some of the most studied events in history such as the Treaty of Versailles and the Rise of Hitler and Fascism. Another archive document I found especially intriguing as we approach the centenary of the First World War was an enlistment paper from 1914 which was using the example of the German invasion of Belgium to persuade British men to sign up for the war effort. It also had a punch cartoon depicting the German Kaiser and Belgium. Another opportunity I had while doing a Work Experiance at the Record Office was to be able to research my family tree and trace back seven generations on one side. However I am not completely convinced that I found the right line of ancestors, though either way the skills I learnt through the process have helped develop my ability to research. On top of all this I got the chance to meet and explore the roles of over two dozen people who work there. Through my time there I got to catch a small glimpse into what they do, and be welcomed into their family. As I finish my time in the Record Office I will leave with a greater understanding of history, politics (through the archives I read), and an amazing acknowledgement of the work that goes on behing there doors to keep our joint history preserved and studied for many future generations. There are a vast array of skills that can be taken from doing a work experience at the Record Office and Local Studies Libary and I recommend it to any one who has a passion for history or wants to develop there research skills”
We would like to thank Philip for the great work he has done whilst at the Record Office this week, it has been a pleasure having him here and we hope to see him again soon.