The Virtual Training Suite isn’t just about subjects like Mathematics or Business – we also have other approaches to research. For example, this summer we launched the new Internet for Archives tutorial. It’s written by Lisa Jeskins, Promotions and Outreach Officer at Mimas, and helps students to find their way round the complicated but rewarding world of archives. Most students will get to know secondary sources like books, journals and Google Scholar, but what about primary sources like letters, diaries or official records? It’s all explained here.
Key sources are described in the TOUR section of the tutorial – such as the amazing National Archives hosted by the UK government and Archives Hub which is a catalogue of many important archives. As usual, the lesson is hammered home that you can’t find everything online and may have to go back to traditional resources in hard copy! Archives Hub has great news updates on newly digitised collections of exhibitions including brilliant photos. Of course, there are many good local collections too, such as the Special Collections at Bristol University Library. Often these allow guest visitors. The tutorial also covers social media services for archives – there are blogs like Out of the Box from LSE, a wiki on the National Archives and some Twitter channels – see Archives Hub channel.
There are lots of specialist collections available too……..I have been researching some of my naval relatives and have browsed pages for the Local and Naval Studies Library in Plymouth, plus the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport. Increasingly these types of services are making more materials available in electronic form.
So, we hope that students and perhaps even some lecturers and librarians will find this tutorial a good guide to the latest in archives.