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2013 Cadell Bursary Report - Kirsty Lee

Whilst working under various guises in the Main Library at St Andrews University since 2004, I found myself quite naturally gravitating towards and gaining a strong interest in working in the archive sector. This was a direct result of reading about and hearing stories of the fascinating archival collections the Special Collections division had acquired.

After a period of volunteering within Special Collections I enrolled on the University of Dundeeā€™s MLitt Archives and Records Management programme in January 2010, and began to work towards a new career in Digital Archiving and Preservation. By applying for, and being awarded, the Scottish Council on Archives' Patrick Cadell Bursary I was able to complete the taught element of the degree in September 2013 with my final module, Metadata Standards and Information Taxonomies.

Since starting the degree programme I have transferred full time to the Special Collections Division as Archive Assistant, with a remit to develop processes and procedures for handling and preserving the growing collection of digital assets. The Metadata and Information Taxonomies module provided me with a much deeper understanding of the importance of metadata and its fundamental ability to allow archivists to both manage and provide access to content, be it analogue or digital, complimenting my previous training in the Records Management and Digital Preservation modules.

The module itself covered the breadth of metadata and taxonomic principles and their definitions, the established standards that govern consistency in structuring and managing data, such as Dublin Core and PREMIS, how metadata is used for the effective management and retrieval of information in a logical and enduring manner, and the close connection that different types of taxonomic classification schemes and controlled vocabularies have with metadata and metadata standards.

What I have learnt on this module will undoubtedly come into play as we plan for and develop a digital repository for the Division, and as we restructure and reorganise our internally created divisional records and develop a more coherent, stable and flexible classification scheme that enables users to quickly and simply access relevant information.

My deepest thanks go to the Scottish Council on Archives for kindly awarding me this bursary, which has allowed me - without additional financial burden - to complete the taught element of the programme and has furnished me with additional skills I will use both within my professional role and through the dissertation element of my degree. It has been invaluable and I wholeheartedly appreciate the opportunity to further my career and my personal progression.