Archival work experience at Canterbury Cathedral

The EP team caught up with third year History student Grace Lyons following her work experience within the Canterbury Cathedral archives.

Canterbury Cathedral has been a sponsor of the EP scheme for many years, and the Archives and Library Manager, Cressida Williams, has been welcoming students on work experience with her for several years. Cressida is very keen to continue supporting both the cathedral’s relationship with the university, and importantly helping students in finding their career path choices. The Archives & Library holds an impressive collection of manuscripts, historic records, photographs, maps and printed books dating back to the late 8th century.

This opportunity has always proven very popular amongst our Arts and Humanities students, particularly those studying History, and this year was no exception. Grace Lyons was the lucky historian to be selected after interview, and she very much enjoyed her time there:

The placement went very well, and I learnt a lot about what it is like to work in an archive. It was my first time working in such an environment so a lot of it was new. I found the team very welcoming, and they introduced me to all the different parts of the archives and library. I particularly enjoyed cataloguing historical material – some of which dated from the 17th century.

Grace also worked on digitising some of the collection, cataloguing materials, assisting with library displays and tours and with visiting school groups. She noted that ‘as a history student, I have always been interested in how archives are run and how historical material is retrieved for research. I gained valuable insight into the organisation of archives and how historical material is preserved’.

Grace would certainly encourage students to get involved with the EP scheme:

‘By participating in extracurricular activities you can look for valuable opportunities and career enhancing experiences through the university. Make the most of it. It’s a great opportunity to gain experience in a sector you are interested in, and it can help you figure out what you might like to do in the future’.

So, get participating in extracurricular activities, and make sure you earn your points this academic year so that you are able to apply for this and many more valuable opportunities available to students on the EP scheme!