My Work Experience Week

Today’s post comes from Sam, a pupil at Highfields School, Matlock, who recently spent a week on work experience at Derbyshire Record Office. Here’s their story …

I have really enjoyed my time here at Derbyshire Record Office for my work experience. I knew it would be something I would be interested in because I really like history. Although, I never knew there was so much history locally!  

So, I began the week with an overview of what goes on here and how the Record Office runs day to day. I was very interested in all the different jobs that are needed here and how precise everything must be. 

Over the week, I have been researching the area where I live, in Lumsdale at the top of Matlock. I started in local studies and found out that our house used to be a farm; one of Florence Nightingale’s ancestors once owned it!

To follow up, I used the archives to find some more out about it, very helpful. With miles of records in all the stores, I was always going to be able to find something out about it! 

Also, I have been listing old building plans onto a spreadsheet so that they can be added to the online catalogue.

I was alright with finding the date and the architect on the drawings but folding them back up was the worst bit! They never seemed to want to go back in the same way.  

One of my favourite parts was helping with productions, getting the records that have been ordered by the public from the stores and bringing them back to the public searchroom. Although there was a lot of walking involved, I really enjoyed trying to find the correct reference number and document in each box.

Later in the week, I helped some volunteers with the preservation of some of the Harpur Crewe records from Calke Abbey. It is all about them being as clean as possible, getting rid of the dirt and dust that are on the surface of the paper. If there is a lot of damage, the conservation staff will try to repair it. 

I would like to thank all members of staff here for introducing me into what they do and giving me a go at it. 

Thanks to you as well Sam. Good luck for your future.

If you are interested in work experience or volunteering opportunities with Derbyshire Record Office, more details can be found here.

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