Insight into Archiving: Georgia Ash

Georgia Ash from Cardiff University’s department of History has been undertaking a workl experience ‘Insight’ placement with WCIA through the Centre for Student Life. Here she reflects on her experience.

Participants celebrate the end of the last Summer ‘Archiveathon’ on August 30th – Georgia Ash is on LH side.

Throughout August, I have been assisting WCIA with their Archiveathon sessions, through an Insights placement from Cardiff University. The aim of the Archiveathons was for to catalogue the Temple of Peace Library Collections, making them available online for public use. It has been a very enjoyable experience, and I feel that I have learned many valuable skills.

Within the sessions, myself (and other volunteers) discovered many interesting books, especially from Lord David Davies‘ own personal collection of interwar writings – including books about travelling, world politics and history. My personal favourite book was a copy of In the Fourth Year’, written and signed by H.G Wells with a personal message to Lord Davies. As an English Literature student, I have previously studied and written about Wells’ work – so discovering this was very compelling. All the books catalogued will be helpful to people who are carrying out their own studies, and I am happy to be a part of supporting that.

As well as assisting with the Archiveathon sessions in the Temple Library, I have also been helping record the Temple’s archive collections, most of which are stored in the Attic out of public view. Here I obtained useful experience in cataloguing various files and items, mostly dedicated to the WCIA’s historical files. The most challenging part of my Insight was cataloguing old ledgers within the attic, from Edwardian times onwards. They were very heavy and dirty, but interesting to examine. By documenting these previously unexplored records, I gained valuable hands-on experience in Archiving – an area I’m inspired to investigate further.

The final stage of my Insight was writing this blog post! It has been very helpful to reflect on my time, and what I have achieved. I look forward to applying the skills I have learned at WCIA into the future, and I am grateful for the opportunity given to me.

Georgia Ash, 31 August – view LinkedIn profile

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