Under the Christmas Microscope: The Twelve Days of Christmas

The 'Under the Microscope' series of blog posts explores items that I have helped to catalogue and digitise for the Teams of Our Lady Transatlantic Super-Regional archive.   The Twelve Days of Christmas Today, December 25th, is the start of the twelve days of Christmas, and what better than to share a blog post about the … Continue reading Under the Christmas Microscope: The Twelve Days of Christmas

Christmas Recipes from The “Olio” Cookery Book

At the start of December I posted a blog about Mrs Beeton's Festive Recipes, looking at the Christmassy recipes from our 1888 family copy of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management. We've another rather lovely vintage cookery book in our family archive, so I thought I'd explore the festive recipes within this one too. The "Olio" … Continue reading Christmas Recipes from The “Olio” Cookery Book

The Second Coursework Submission

The Recordkeeping Professional module ran over the Autumn 2016 term. For this module, our coursework submission involved mixture of group and individual work. The Group Elements We put ourselves into groups of 6 or 7 at the start of term, and worked on the group aspect of the coursework throughout the term. We were asked to work together to … Continue reading The Second Coursework Submission

How I Started – Melinda Haunton

Another ‘How I Started’ blog post from the ARA’s Section for New Professionals, this time featuring Melinda Haunton.

Off the Record

I remember the first time I said I wanted to be an archivist. I was 17, it was summer term and my college had us in-betweeners doing long lessons for our A level subjects in preparation for the horror of another Exam Year. I was doing French, with a bored French assistant, about Careers and The Future. Asked what we wanted to do, I – history nerd that I was – said, “Je voudrais être historienne ou archiviste.”

I didn’t really mean it. I didn’t know how to become an archivist. It just sounded quite a logical thing to do with a history degree, and I did know I wanted to do that. No one had ever given me a careers talk about archives. I’d certainly never visited one. But I did know – I’d read enough history to know – that you have to go back to primary sources…

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Innovative Archivists as Drivers of Change

An interesting blog post from Annelie de Villiers, ‘Innovative Archivists as Drivers of Change’.

Personal Recordkeeping, Identity and Archives


Innovative archivists know three things:

  1. Archival systems are infrastructure
  2. Archival infrastructure is man-made
  3. That which is man-made can be man-unmade

The word ‘infrastructure’ generally brings to mind roads and bridges, but our economic systems and very society is based upon intricate, interrelated sets of infrastructure. A unique feature of infrastructure is that it supports our society and our ways of living, but is taken for granted and largely goes unnoticed. Unless that is, something goes wrong. 

15217933144_89c0601614_z Road Infrastructure

For example, consider the roads we drive on every day and facilitates our transportation; invariably mostly we notice them is when there are faults on the road. As they don’t pull our attention, little thought is given to maintaining roads until potholes jolt us into action.

As archival systems (encompassing recordkeeping technologies, standards and behaviours) facilitate and support activities within a community or organization, they are another example of infrastructure. Like our…

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The First Graded Essay

If you've visited my blog before, you may remember that I posted a blog about The First Coursework Submission about a month ago. The lecturers marked our essays and returned them to us on Friday, and I was absolutely delighted to be graded with a merit! What's more, I was two marks off a distinction! … Continue reading The First Graded Essay

Mrs Beeton’s Festive Recipes

Now that December is upon us, some of my blog posts may be of a festive nature. My family has recently uncovered our family copy of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management dating from 1888, so I thought that I would share some images of our copy, and of the festive recipes. Who is Mrs Beeton? … Continue reading Mrs Beeton’s Festive Recipes