Let me introduce you to Carol, current Archives and Special Collections officer. Carol, could you briefly introduce yourself, please?
Oh, yes. Yeah, as you said, I'm the current Archives and Special Collections officer. I've worked with the archive service for around 10 years now in different paths.
Thats a long time!
Unknown Speaker 0:28
I've only recently taken over the role of archivist in the last year with when a colleague was on maternity leave, and I'm really enjoying it is fantastic. And I'll carry on working with Sara who has recently come back off maternity leave and also Rowena, who's our archives assistant so quite a small team. But we've worked with each other quite a long time. So we know each other really well and our collections.
That's brilliant. And could you give a brief overview of Archives and Special Collections. Now, what are some of the collections you hold and what does the team do?
Unknown Speaker 1:04
Yes. And so we look after and provide access to collections owned by Falmouth University and the University of Exeter on this campus for use in learning, teaching and research. We have over 40 archive collections and nine special collections. And this is either unique rare or specialised material. So that can encompass anything from photographs to diaries, to film, to posters, manuscripts. You name it, we've probably got it in the archive, and a whole range of different subjects so anything from history to art, writing, politics, photography, theatre. Yes. So yeah, we've got collections of individual people, so things like the Cornish playwright Nick, dark and right Patrick Gale, also institutional records of the history of the university Falmouth University. Archive, the Campbell School of Mines archive, through to business archives, such as for theatre companies, such as kneehigh and wild works as well.
Right. Very varied collection there. And what does the team do? Is there anything tell us about your roles?
Unknown Speaker 2:24
Obviously, we provide access to those collections in a variety of different ways. So that can be through teaching, which I'm involved with and have support from the archival system with through reader appointments in our reading room where people can request items and come in and view them and also, we offer student placements as well. So students get to do some of the behind the scenes work on collections or create exhibitions of materials. So it's kind of learning transferable skills that they can use elsewhere in their career moving forward.
Brilliant. I didn't know that. So that's really interesting. And how might students find out more about the collections before they get in touch with you? Can they do anything online or look up information about the collections before they get in touch? Yes.
Unknown Speaker 3:18
There's a broad overview of all of the collections available on the website and the briefest introduction. There's also for more detail, you can look on the catalogue. So we have a catalogue for the archive material. And there's also you can look at the Special Collections and rare books come from the library catalogue. So you can search through those right. But you can and we also have a set of research guides. Yes, subject specific so if you're interested in Cornish festivals, for instance, there'll be a research guide that pulls resources from across our collections quite varied a different formats of materials that relate to that. So that's the basic thing is if, if you don't know specifically what you're looking for, don't worry about that. You can drop us an email, or you can put by the office and have a conversation we provide access to a lot of our material, it's uncatalogued, and we know our collections really, really well. So if you come and talk to us, we can usually suggest something that would be appropriate or if we don't have it, we normally know who might have it.
So that's the best thing is to get in touch. If they're not sure really. And one of my questions was about how you can help and support students with their research and access but basically they get in touch and tell you what, what they're interested in and then you can take it from there.
Unknown Speaker 4:44
Yeah, so make an appointment. We get the material out for them to look at. We give them help and support with handling it because as often handling requirements around some of the specialised material, I certainly say a bit of a chance to talk to the person so sometimes initially, we get a selection of material out for first appointment and then the person says well, actually, I'm quite interested in this particular aspect. And then we can suggest things that they come in for the next visit. And we can we have that kind of bit of dialogue so that we can students find the thing that they're looking for and the relevant thing for the piece of work that they're working on.
Right? Yeah, well I was going to ask, you know how students might find the collections useful for the dissertation or research project. And I wondered whether you had any examples in which students have used collections in a research project previously?
Unknown Speaker 5:39
Yes, we actually run a brief every year with a textile students where we select we operate as a client, and we get the students to create a piece of work based around specific archive collections. So from a creative point of view, they're actually quite extended project that lasts a whole module. So that's quite a significant piece of work for their portfolio. Other ways we work with the students say we work with them and teaching them they often have an assignment attached to that and they'll come in so that might be an extended essay, or it might be a dissertation that they come back for, we often give help and advice around, you know, the resources that we have for that and what materials might be appropriate, or we can we can suggest different avenues because a lot of our collections are connected, right? So you can approach one subject from a variety of different angles. And because we know our collections so well, we're often helped to a, you know, can advise on that. We often find that students that use the collections because it's really good to have primary sources, particularly when you're writing dissertation. They do quite well that really go with it often really, it's reflected in the results that they get. So we've had quite a lot of students that have done really quite well at UCL.
That's fantastic to hear. So, we we recommend you get in touch everyone and if students are on campus, where are you based?
Unknown Speaker 7:13
You go to the ground floor of the exchange. So if you through the main entrance of the exchange, go past careers, and then there's a small corridor? Would that the end pass the study pots, so you'll find our office there and then next to that is our reading room. Where you would come for appointments? Were always on hand. Should should we be?
But for any of our students who are online, predominantly, I mean, are there any digital collections they can still access?
Unknown Speaker 7:46
We're get we're getting increasingly more content available online. So we did a series of online exhibitions, which contain material from the archives. We've also done quite a lot of during COVID. We did a lot of digital resource packs, if you are looking to me was to serve those that have archived materials within them and they get quite a lot of use by students online. We also have now a large photographic collection that's completely catalogued and available through JSTOR so brilliant 13 and a half 1000 images of porn between the early 1950s and early 1980s. Wow. But it covers a huge variety of different subjects, from anything from Corniche events and festivals to built environment to flowers. Whether, yes, a sport it's very very diverse. So there's normally something in there that will appeal to most people if they're particularly if they're researching things to do with Cornwall.
That's brilliant. Thanks. Well, thanks for that Carol, and I'm sure lots of people will be in touch now to to explore your collections but that's brilliant.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai