Hi, my name’s Cade Simpson, and I’m the new Bridging the Digital Gap trainee, stationed at the Devon Archives branch of the South West Heritage Trust.
The Bridging the Digital Gap Programme
Now what exactly is the Bridging the Digital Gap programme? Well, it’s an initiative run by The National Archives to introduce a new generation of archivists to the UK, with a heavy emphasis on the preservation of digital collections, as well as the conversion of some physical collections to digital formats.
This is especially important now, when archives across the country have closed their doors to the public in line with government guidance, as anyone can access a digital collection from the comfort of their own home, without endangering themselves and the staff at their local archive.
Digital Collections and Digitisation
So with that said, across the course of the next eighteen months with the South West Heritage Trust I’ll be working with digital collections, and hopefully making a few more of them available online. I’ll also be working on digitisation – the conversion of analogue to digital. This could involve anything from photographing old documents to making digital recordings of reel to reel tapes, all so that important records can be safely stored and accessed without risk of damaging the original items.
I’ll also be helping out with the outreach side of things, working with associates outside of the Trust to organise events and projects involving members of the public. As well as this, I’ll be working with our Community Learning Officer on the Devon Archives social media presence. And who knows? I might even start a blog.
A bit about myself: I was born in the United States, but have lived in North Devon for the majority of my life, and like to think that I at least know Barnstaple quite well by now. I’ve always been interested in both history and technology, so this seems like the perfect role for me. I can usually be found at the nearest auction house (not at the moment of course), looking at obsolete bits of technology to add to my collection.