Archival Training Course at London Metropolitan Archives (LMA)

 When I initially heard the word ‘archives’ the first thing that came to mind was old pictures or objects that are dug up by somebody (usually expecting to find something valuable). I thought, to myself “when would I ever be so lucky as to stumble upon somebodies forgotten treasures?” Not for one moment did I think that an archive was something that you or I could find in the confines of our very own home.


The aims and focus of the course was to learn all about the process of archiving, from conservation to packaging and labelling to the handling of fragile, prehistoric documents. This was achieved with the help and guidance of Senior Archivist, Richard Wiltshire. This course also gave an insightful look into Jamaican culture and history, which for me, being an intern for Jamaica Hidden Histories was beneficial in so many ways. For me the biggest highlight of the course was when we were given Lorna Holder’s archiving materials to be organised and catalogued. Fashion is something that interests me instantly so it only felt right that I was selected to go through her 1979 fashion folder, which she created whilst working at Davies & Field. How sweet that moment was! Touching the velvet fabric samples which were smooth to the touch, lifting pages of thick paper covered in colour and examining the perfectly cut edges of the fabric cuttings, which complimented the bodies of modelesque figures.


The warming and friendly attitudes from all the staff members and group members allowed us to indulge in frequent group discussions, which respectively gave us opportunities to reflect on given topics.


To conclude the five-day course, Maureen Roberts, Senior Development Officer, spoke to us about the wonders of creative writing, how to create an event and how to cater for all audiences if ever we needed to put on an event ourselves.


By Shakira Palmer
Jamaica Hidden Histories Marketing Intern