In the next of our series introducing members of staff, #DULibIntroducing welcomes University Library and Collections graduate intern Tom Henderson.
Please tell us your name, full job title, and a brief description of what that entails:
My name is Tom Henderson and I work as a ‘Graduate Intern (Ushaw Collections)’. I divide my time between Ushaw College and Palace Green Library, since parts of Ushaw’s collections are held at both. The role involves working in the search rooms at Ushaw and Palace Green, processing reader bookings and requests, and cataloguing collections.
What is it about the role that attracted you to it?
I actually came up to Ushaw College – which is an old Catholic seminary to the west of Durham – a number of times whilst an undergraduate at Durham University, and rather fell in love with the place (it’s a bit cold and inaccessible at times, but my friends have said similar things about me). I applied just as I was finishing my master’s in Medieval Studies, where I focused on improving my codicology and palaeography skills: the internship offered the perfect opportunity to work on them further!
What are you most enjoying so far, or most looking forward to?
So far, I’ve had a bit of a crash-course in everything: rare book cataloguing; modern book cataloguing; archive cataloguing; book handling. The archive cataloguing I’m currently working on allows me to be really methodical, but I’ve also been able spend some time familiarising myself with Ushaw’s medieval manuscript collection (which you can read more about in an article published here). This tends to be something I do with my spare moments, as a treat.
When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
Reading all of the books I didn’t have time to when I was a student. I just finished Peter Burke’s Tradition & Innovation in Renaissance Italy, and have started Aravind Adiga’s novel The White Tiger. Otherwise, I’ve recently started an online German course with the Goethe Institut, and on Saturdays I can often be found at Durham Parkrun.