- Architecture, building and construction records
- Your toolkit
- Archive Pace Setters
- Digitisation consortium
- Family and estate records
- Finding Archives
- Funding the archives sector
- London 2012
- Manorial Documents Register
- Opening Up Archives
- Archiving the arts
Opening Up Archives
Opening Up Archives is diversifying the archives profession by providing an entry into the sector for those who have not followed a traditional qualification route.
Instead of focusing on specific qualifications, the programme seeks people who can bring talent and energy to the archival world, who are keen to develop their skills, who want to engage with their local community, and who want to create better online services. It also encourages archives to recruit a broader range of skills, with staff that is more reflective of their community.
This is a collaborative project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, The National Archives and several archive services from across England. The programme is for 13 full time, one year workplace traineeships in a range of specialist areas at host archives in London, Manchester, Leicestershire, Surrey, Tyne and Wear, Gloucestershire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire.
Trainee specialisms include:
- online engagement and digitisation
- community engagement
- digital preservation
- digital preservation and online engagement
- collection development and community engagement
- interpretation skills
- interpretation skills with a minor in online engagament and digitisation
- community and online engagement and digitisation
Recruitment for the 2013 intake is now closed.
Contact the Programme Manager (Opening Up Archives) for more information about the scheme.
Meet the previous trainees
Read posts from previous trainees on The National Archives' blog, or find out more about some of the trainees who undertook placements in 2012 as part of the Opening Up Archives programme.
Tom Charnock, 2012 trainee at Gloucestershire Archives
'My experience on the Opening Up Archives traineeship has mainly been focused on learning new skills in fields I previously had no knowledge of. I had no hands on experience of working in the community and certainly had never touched digital preservation. However, in the months that I've been at my host organisation I have had plenty of exposure to both of these areas, having been involved in two community outreach projects and the implementation of a digital preservation tool.
'I have created web pages and conducted interviews with project volunteers from the local area, assisted in Heritage Lottery Fund bids, designed training manuals and tutorial presentations to help volunteers use computers to design their own online resources, and also delivered presentations to archive sector professionals on the subject of digital preservation. These are all activities I have enjoyed while on the Opening Up Archives traineeship and I feel the experience gained will be invaluable when I move on to my next position either in the heritage sector or further afield.'
Sarah Fellows, 2012 trainee at Woodhorn Archives
'The Opening up Archives traineeship has been a valuable experience for me. My trainer started teaching me digitisation of different media formats from week one and from then on I have continued to gain knowledge of digitisation as well as online engagement from my host venues. I've been given the opportunity to get involved in projects that use music, creative writing, IT and web 2.0 technologies to engage new and existing audiences and in the process this has enabled me to use my existing creative skills in new ways.
'The archives are full of interesting items and I've really enjoyed exploring them, getting a close up look at the collections and digitising items to use to share and engage with others. I feel that the traineeship has given me a good understanding of archives and a great set of skills to take forward with me.'
Julie Thomson, 2012 trainee at Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland
'I've been working with the digitisation department at the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland. The experience has been very rewarding and has not only provided insight into the workings of a busy record office, but has also been a good introduction to the archive sector more generally. I've been able to advance some pre-existing knowledge of IT and digitisation, and to get practice managing and cataloguing large photographic collections of diverse media types. In addition to the main job description, there are also daily 'side projects' ranging from customer service, to scanning documents for TV programmes, to visual design with Photoshop. I've picked up a number of skills which are relevant to further archives work, as well as other heritage and information-services positions. The staff have also been wonderfully helpful and a pleasure to work with!'
Simeera Hassan, 2012 trainee at Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives
'Working in partnership with Somali arts and cultural organisation KAYD, based at Oxford House in Bethnal Green, my main activities focus on engagement with the Somali community. The Somali community make up the second largest ethnic minority population in Tower Hamlets. My role has been to help fill gaps in Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives' collections by acquiring materials that reflect the Somali community's presence here by recording the lives of Somalis living in Tower Hamlets.
'So far I have had the opportunity of meeting with ex-royal navy men, a World War Two veteran, an electrician and an entrepreneur, to name but a few. I have also collected new archives that will be held in Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives.'