I’ve just completed my first week at the SCA and it has been a great start to my experience. I was able to meet Audrey and Robert in person on my first day in Edinburgh which was very exciting (leaving home for the meeting was exciting in itself after the strange year we’ve had) and a lovely way to start the internship. I was so grateful to have this opportunity because despite not studying history at university it has always been a personal hobby and interest, with my obsessions leading to forcing my family to take trips to any castle we could find.
During lockdown I filled my time with reading lots of historical fiction books (personal favourites focus on the Tudor/Stewart dynasties) and listening to a number of amazing podcasts all dedicated to making history accessible to everyone. I really enjoyed it and despite me often viewing the events of the present day as ordinary, Covid19 has made me realise the importance of documenting this period in time we are all living through right now. It was the opportunity to be a part of a process which will allow people of future generations to have access to individual accounts of what life was like living in the Scottish Hebrides during Covid19 that really encouraged me to apply.
So far, I have been working on compiling all of the necessary paperwork legally required for this type of research project which has helped me to build upon my research skills as well as thinking about the logistical practicalities involved in undertaking a research project involving people. I was also able to meet online with Seonaid McDonald from the Tasglann nan Eilean archives on Stornoway to hear about the different systems and processes involved in the archiving within the Hebrides which was really interesting. It was also lovely to receive an introduction before I travel with Audrey to Stornoway in a few weeks’ time to conduct some in person interviews for our oral history project Voices: The Hebridean Story whilst also being able to see the archives first-hand.
I am excited for this week to start working on creating some content for the SCA website where we hope to publish the recorded interviews at the beginning of August.