During my postgraduate studies at the De Montfort University (DMU), I volunteered as an archives assistant for four months at the university’s Special Collections.
Special Collections seeks to accrue material which relates to specialist subjects taught at DMU, in order to enhance teaching, learning and research at the University. Photographic History is one of those subjects with records including books and journals from the research library of Kodak Ltd.; monographs and journals from the library of the Photographers’ Gallery; photography auction catalogues from the 1980s-2012 from the Wilson Centre for Photography; the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) National Art Slide Library, a large collection of lantern slides on art and architectural subjects; and papers of a Leicester based photographer who worked on the Snapshots from Home WW2 scheme.
- I listed and indexed materials such as 35mm film slides and glass plate negatives, using keywords to ensure a wide range of entry points.
- Assisted in the cataloging and preservation process of the V&A National Art Slide Library Collection.
- Cleaned, checked for damage and mold, and ensured the continued preservation of materials by rehousing them using archival enclosures.
- Digitized lantern slides from V&A National Art Slide Library Collection.
It was a valuable experience that allowed me to understand the dedication and attention to detail needed when working within the heritage sector.