Library & Archive Blog – A Work Experience Diary

Daniel joined us for a week in our library and archives from Scarborough Sixth Form and this is his diary of what he did.

Tuesday 25th June

Today, I arrived at 9:30 in preparation for a school visit, but there were complications which meant that it didn’t end up happening. Instead, Claire tasked me with writing the blog post about a local photographer, Thomas Watson. After a tour of the museum and the archives, I was handed a box laden full of information about Watson and a book from the library to carry out my research. Once the blog post was finished, I added photographs and posted the finished article on the website. A very good start to my work placement week!

Wednesday 26th June

Claire had asked one of the volunteers, Janet, if she could show me how to use the software,, for looking up my family history and I started to form my own family tree, following my grandads line – even though we found out later that it wasn’t quite right but hopefully later in the week I will have another go. I also got to look at the different folders of pre-prepared family trees. In the afternoon I went with Claire to an outreach session at Dementia Forward at the Coliseum, where she gave a presentation about local lifeboat stories and a history of the RNLI to celebrate the 200th year of its creation. After this, we came back and was given a new task working on a presentation that Claire would use in future outreach sessions on North York Moors Crosses and Trods. Overall, today was very fun!

Thursday 27th June

Charles, the Archivist, showed me how to catalogue documents on Axiell and I continued with a collection of 19th century James Cooke circus posters that a previous sixth form student had started. Having a small break from this task, Eileen, another volunteer (actually my Grandma) showed me how to clean books on the Down Draught Bench – clothed in protective gloves and apron, using a brush made with badger hair and a sponge I cleaned a relatively old book, which wasn’t overly mouldy just to give me a basic understanding of the importance of this job. After that, I went back to cataloguing till the end of the day. This was a very interesting day and found a few of the circus posters quite amusing!

Friday 28th June

When I arrived Claire had laid out all the sight support tools – Clover Handheld Video Magnifier and the PENfriend 2 (supporting the Tin Ghaut exhibition). She showed me how they work and why it was important to have these tools in the library for people to use.

I continued with the Circus posters , cataloguing on Axiell until I finished the collection. Then I continued my search on, this time heading off on a different but correct family path – it is helpful when looking into family past to have a few names and dates to set you off and can be quite addictive once you get started! After lunch I continued with the stone crosses/trod presentation and completed a feedback form.

“I have done a lot of research and learning, as well as learning about different jobs/tasks in the library.“

“Very welcoming and friendly people and a very interesting place!!”

Diary by Daniel Shone Scarborough Sixth Form

If you are interested in work experience or becoming a young volunteer (17 and over) please contact Claire Marris –

Claire Marris Archive Development Officer

#HeritageFund #archivesforall