My name is Natasha Young and I have recently completed the National Archives digital skills training program: Bridging the Digital Gap. This program was a 15 month hands-on placement at the Gloucestershire Archives, where I have had access to amazing people, and learned not only the skills of traditional archiving, but the challenges and needs of digital archiving.
Starting in January 2021 and running to March 2022 I came into the program with no knowledge of archiving, and have since earned my Foundational Membership to the Archives and Records Association.
Bringing my skills for user experience, and a passion for organizing and making sense of information, I took part in accessioning and cataloguing documents, expanded my skills in producing live online teaching sessions, film editing, digital preservation software and processes, and learned a lot about the theory and ethics of collecting and describing items. At the archives I was thoroughly impressed with the constant forward thinking attitude, and the dedication of the highly motivated people I worked with.
I was given a mentor in Claire Collins, the digital preservation wizard at the archive, and was supported day-to-day by my lovely manager Kate Maisey. I was given a lot of freedom to experiment as to what areas I wanted to focus my learning which helped me to really feel out where I excelled, and which skills to equip myself for future roles. Being new to the heritage sector I have really enjoyed working in an environment which has sparked an interest in bringing our cultural heritage to life.