Volunteering at the University of Sussex Library

Hello, my name is Shima and this February I started volunteering at the Legacy Collection here at the University of Sussex. I am a current PhD student, who is aiming vigorously to submit my thesis soon, fingers crossed! For the past few couple of years, I have found myself becoming interested in archives and archival work.

During my PhD I got the opportunity to do a major part of my research in various archival libraries in America and here in the UK. Working with old manuscripts and deciphering old hand written letters became my favourite aspect of doing research. Almost to the point that decoding handwritten letters has become like a hobby of mine, you can even say a skill!

Towards the end of my second year, I became more serious about the idea of a career in archives and began pursuing options and opportunities through which I could gain some insight into this amazing world of recording and maintaining history, memories, stories, voices and get some experience, which brings us to now and my volunteer position at the Legacy Collection at Sussex University Library.

Beginning this February, I began my volunteering position at the University of Sussex Library, which incidentally was the first archive collection I visited in my first year to look at the Rosey Pool collection and her correspondence with Langston Hughes, the African American poet I am doing my research on. As nervous as I was about the unknown and how it will be, I was more excited. So far I have discussed and searched the world of archives and special collections as a future but to get the opportunity to work and learn about the process and details, requirements and methods of collecting, managing and maintaining special manuscripts and books, is on its own a whole new and exciting experience. I am so honoured to be working with an amazing and friendly team such as Chloe, Julie and Sian who I hope to learn so much from.

However, for now, I just wanted to introduce myself and tell you to look forward to some interesting and informative posts about archival work and snippets of the material that I am helping to catalogue, which is some cool documents.

So stay tuned!

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