Tuesday 22 July 2014

Volunteering in the HER by Marad Griffiths

Hi, My name is Marad Griffiths and this is my second year of Access to Archaeology in Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust spanning from June to July.  I have been working here as part of my work placement programme with Cardiff University and I am studying BA Archaeology. My interest in Archaeology stemmed from studying History at A-level and hearing (during my placement) that people were able to access information via Archwilio on the works carried out appeared exciting. Access to archaeology entails tasks that include entering data into the HER database and maintaining the data for e.g. checking that there are no duplicates of the work that is carried out by archaeologists as part of investigations. The HER has an important role in that many works in the trust can be carried out based on this information. I chose to work here as the place is really friendly and the people are hardworking. I like the sort of work that the trust does. As part of the University placement I was introduced to the workers and familiarised myself with the different departments. Leonora was extremely friendly and this made it a comfortable experience to engage myself with the work. The Access to Archaeology work is invaluable and gives me an insight into an archiving environment. Access to Archaeology was part of the work that was assigned to my schedule in the first year.

The first year included adding events to the database and it prepared me to become more familiar with the programme for the second year. It was easier the second time round and it built my confidence in adjusting to the programme. A lot of research skills are required for the completion of the tasks and it helped me to become more resourceful with handling data. At the beginning of the first time I encountered the programme, Leonora and Charina kindly handed out information on the process of entering data and this really helped to get to grips with the programme in an easy and understandable way. Leonora directed me, which was helpful in grasping the workings of the database and it takes practice. The staff members are extremely pleasant and welcoming. When beginning the second year of Archaeology it wasn’t as difficult to start the work and my understanding of the trust helped me to recognize its value. I have jotted a few things down on paper to remind myself of how to enter the specific data, which has been useful. As long as you work hard in learning the skills it will be beneficial to you if you want to work in the environment. I have progressed tremendously on my understanding of data. I asked a few questions to things I did not understand in order to become aware of the reports, which was important. I am able to keep a pace and gain a rhythm whilst entering data. Familiarising with the set up of the office is important. The more I familiarised myself with the reports the more interesting they became. I am grateful I have had experience of the HER department.    

 Marad Griffiths, A2A Volunteer

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