I have just started my third and final year of my undergraduate degree at Bath Spa University. This is also my first year of working in the Bath Spa Archive.
|Acts of Parliament. Photo by Lisa Coomes|
The main reason why this placement interested me is because it would allow me to use the skills I have learnt in an actual historical project and to learn more about the history of my university. Since starting in the archive I have been cataloguing books we have received from the Bath Record Office, mainly Acts of Parliament. The process of cataloguing I have heard mentioned many times in lectures but have never thought of the actual process you have to go through. As we were not a 100% sure what we had received and the condition of each item, I had to look at each book individually and note it all down. Whilst doing this I found interesting this inside the books such as an envelope with a stamp from 1950 with a stamp of George VI. I found this really exciting as I don't think I have ever seen another monarch other than Queen Elizabeth II on a stamp before. At the end of the last session in the archive, I started putting it all into the computer. The thing I learnt most from doing this, was the format in which documents are recorded.
|Envelope found in one of the Acts of Parliament. Photo by Lisa Coomes|
As I mentioned above, I also chose this placement because I wanted to learn more about the history of the university I have been at for the last 3 years. Since, starting in the archives I have learnt a lot of the history about the estate. From learning that the castle itself was a tower of the original 14th century house to the architectural designs and changes put in when the estate was developed to make it suitable for the women's college. I have also discovered places I have never seen in the university such as the servant’s service corridor under the main house and the Octagon room!
Despite being at the university for 3 years I have never been exposed to the history. One of my main personal aims for the project would be to share the history of the estate and the archive on a wider scale within the university.
By Lisa Coomes