The Lambton Archive – a summer internship

Summer intern Iris Leussink looks back on two months spent working at Palace Green Library

For a lot of people in Durham, Palace Green Library is a bit of a mystery. Some of my friends, even those who have studied and lived in here for four years, have never set foot in the building. Before I started, I had only been here once to see a rare book for my History dissertation. So I’m writing this blog post to give you an idea of what an internship at an archive might look like in practice.

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Graduate intern update: Beth

Graduate intern Beth Hall updates us on what she’s been up to in the last month or so…

Hello, it’s Beth! Back again with another update from my Archives and Special Collections internship.

I promised an update on my time with conservation in my last post, and what a fascinating couple of weeks it has been.

We kicked off with a tour of the building, with a view to look at the conservation measures that we have in place to keep the collections safe. We have pest traps around the building (not necessarily to catch all the insects we might have here as you might think, but to monitor their levels and where they are likely to be found), which are mostly by the strong rooms where the collections are kept. We also have temperature and humidity monitors that make sure the environment for the collections are stable. These are regularly checked, and radiators come on if humidity levels get too high to make sure everything balances out!

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Graduate intern update: Elisabeth

Graduate intern Elisabeth Prestgard updates us on what she’s been up to in the last month or so…

Hello again everyone! Here is my update for the month. The Document Delivery Service team has recently changed its name to Interlibrary Loans team. I’m still part of both the ILL and Customer Service teams. I have been working more days onsite, which has been nice as it allows me to learn more about the different queries at the Help and Information Desk, and it gives me the opportunity to meet friendly and interesting people in person (especially since a lot of my time has been spent working from home.)

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Graduate intern update: Beth

Graduate intern Beth Hall updates us on what she’s been up to in the last month or so…

It’s been nearly three months since I started here at Palace Green Library in Durham, and time has definitely flown! My mornings are spent helping out in the search room to make sure our readers and collections are well looked after. It’s still quiet in Palace Green while restrictions are still in place and students are enjoying their summers, but there’s still been a steady stream of reprographics requests and enquiries to take care of to ensure researchers still have access to our collections remotely. I haven’t seen this building in its fully populated state, so I’m intrigued to see what it’ll be like in here once the students are in!

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Graduate intern update: Elisabeth

Graduate intern Elisabeth Prestgard updates us on what she’s been up to in the last month or so…

Since I wrote my introductory post, there have been a few changes. I still work with DDS from home, and also work onsite with the customer services team. However, now that the summer is here and more of the staff are taking their holidays, I am working more at the library. Mondays and Tuesdays are the busiest days of the week. When working at the front desk, there are more queries to answer, as there are more students coming to the library. I also noticed on Wednesday, whilst bringing the returned books to the quarantine room, that there were a lot less books.

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