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Thursday, 12 September 2013

My First Week at Royal Commission

My name is Sarahjayne Clements and I am the new trainee Community Archaeologist at the Royal Commission. My focus is on working with the wider community and I am training alongside Kimberley Briscoe who is the youth-focused trainee community Archaeologist.

In the past I have volunteered for a variety of projects within the archaeology and the heritage sector and am really looking forward to gaining more valuable experience. I was really nervous on my first day but all the staff were very welcoming, helpful and friendly so there was no need to be. I have learnt so much already this week and thought I would share what I have been doing with you.

Our induction programme is very thorough and it means that we spend a week working within each department. This week we have been with the Data and Technology team.

On day one I met staff, watched health and safety videos and learnt about safety procedures. In the afternoon I set up all my I.T. and email accounts. I also learnt about Coflein, Historic Wales and other helpful web sites.  On day two I learnt about the People's Collection Wales and how to use the site. This will be a very useful tool for my Community Archaeology projects in the future and the map features are excellent. I then made a start on transcribing oral history accounts that had been recorded as part of the Garw Valley history project that will be added to the People's Collection Wales.

On day three I added data to Oracle with the help of GIS. I also used any other time to catch up on paperwork and transcribe more oral history accounts. There's lots of software to get to grips with but I'm sure with practice it will become easier. It was similar to the software I have used before when working on the Historic Environment Record in the past. I'm really looking forward to the coming weeks as my induction schedule is packed with exciting activities.

On days four and five I spent more time transcribing oral history accounts and then attended several meetings on databases and shipwrecks. I also learnt about innovation for the People's Collection and the really interesting projects being worked on such as ‘Wales 1900’ and ‘Crowdsnapcymru’. We also attended a meeting on outreach and learning with Cadw, preparing us for future involvement in the joint Royal Commission-Cadw Shipwrecks Project.

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