Archive Trainees’ Group Meeting

Donald and I took a visit to Kew Green on Tuesday for the Archives Trainees Group Meeting. It was a lovely day and great to meet some up and coming archivists.

We kicked off the afternoon with a talk from Donald on his top 10 tips for job hunting and employment skills where he talked us through what skills you need as an archivist, including those soft skills as well as the all-important CV and interview advice.

We then had a talk from two assistant archivists at Kew Gardens, Lorna Cahill and Elisabeth Thurlow. They gave us a fascinating overview of their career and how they came to find their first archiving job post qualification, as well as some information about what it was like to work for Kew Gardens. They gave some good tips for trainees which should help them in a competitive market place which included visiting as many different archives as possible, making valuable connections by attending networking events and keeping in contact with former colleagues that you worked with as a volunteer or as a trainee as their knowledge is invaluable. They then spoke about the values of getting a mentor which is definitely something to think about for all new entrants to the profession.

Following on from this we had an interesting debate about the value of the qualification, is it worthwhile getting the full MA or is getting the Diploma and using those summer months to get ahead in finding suitable jobs  preferable? What’s your opinion?



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