Firstly, let me start by introducing myself. My name is Conor Bolland, I’m 24 years old and a recent graduate from Liverpool Hope University, the Class of 2016 in History and Politics. I was delighted to receive an email notifying me of the Liverpool Hope University Internship Programme 2017 open to Hope’s most recent graduates and including a list of projects across the university. I applied for the Archive and Digitisation Officer as this was a field I had previously had some experience in and also relates to my degree. Additionally, it was something that would give me valuable experience and skills in how to manage an archive and to digitise photographs using a desktop scanner, digital camera and editing software.
I started my three month internship in The Sheppard-Worlock Library’s Special Collections in January 2017. My tasks involved checking the existing records from the S. Katharine’s College and Warrington Training College archives spreadsheet against the contents of the boxed items and amend accordingly. I also created records for additional material discovered in the library stacks. The S. Katharine’s College Archive is now available to download from the Special Collections webpages.
After this task was complete, I began digitising the vast amount of photographs taken by the university and those donated by former staff and alumni. This was done using a scanner and a digital SLR camera to make digital copies of all the photographs. With the scanner, each photo was loaded in and scanned individually to make sure that each one was copied in as high detail as the original photo. Any photographs stuck in their original albums and therefore difficult to scan without damaging, or those too big for the scanner, were copied using the SLR camera to a high resolution. After digitising the photographs, I edited each photo using Photoshop to crop any borders and orientate them correctly. It was important to assign metadata to each digital file such as, name, title, any copyright holders or named photographers as well as names of any students depicted in the photos. I had to be meticulous in this task as it was necessary to be able to easily identify and retrieve images.
After digitisation was complete, the next step was to upload any relevant photos to the asset bank. The asset bank is the university’s digital storage for photographic images that can be accessed by university staff for different uses, such as, Then and Now articles for social media or the Hope Bulletin News. The year 2019 marks the 175th anniversary of S. Katharine’s College, a founding college of Liverpool Hope University, and these photos will be utilised throughout the year to highlight the history of the college and the years gone by.
This was a task I took great pleasure in because I got a glimpse into the past of the University, seeing all the original buildings, the construction of some of the buildings on Hope Park and the life of students who studied here, which really appealed to my interest in local history.
To conclude, I have really enjoyed my time on the Internship Programme at Hope and getting to know new people around the campus. I was delighted to be able to complete the archival and digitisation work on S. Katharine’s College in Special Collections. I have also gained some much needed experience and good references to add to my CV to be able to move forward in finding a career, which is vital in today’s job market. Whilst working, I was also massively grateful for all the help and support I received particularly from the library staff and the alumni office in identifying some people in the photographs.
by Conor Bolland