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Kim

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"I get to see the bones of the operation and experience what life would be like at an archive."

Kim at the London Metropolitan Archive
Kim at the London Metropolitan Archive

There was a box full of index cards containing information about property and land ownership as far back as the 1600s, and the idea was to digitise the information and make it easily accessible and searchable for anyone in the LMA looking up names, dates, locations and any other information regarding property in London at that time. Some of the writing on the index card was nearly indecipherable, which wasn’t helped by some of the old words and names that were written on the card so it was quite a slow process to begin with, but I soon got the hang of it.

I accompanied the manager of Keats House, to a meeting with the people involved with the Black Caribbean Community Archives at LMA; it was an excellent opportunity to witness the organisation and discussion that goes into creating and maintaining a fairly new collection of archives and a good learning experience. It showed another side of archives, the side that isn't all about conservation and archiving, but the marketing aspect of archives and the importance of visitor numbers.

Left to work on my own today. It felt like a lot of responsibility and I was very worried about not doing it correctly! But it wasn’t my first time working with them and I had a peek at the records that had already been catalogued and I worked my way through quite a few of the boxes… I raced to see just how many I files I could get labeled and boxed in the two hours that I had to work on the task. I managed five boxes containing two or three folders each.