Hi, I’m Jordan and I am currently working towards my BA History degree. This year, I have worked as an intern with the Digital Humanities Lab and I will be reflecting on the experience and skills that I developed in this blog post.
One of the best things about working in the labs is the extensive range of possibilities available, which gave me the opportunity to work with 2D, 3D, and Audio-Visual digitisation. My favourite area of work was 3D digitisation in the Makerspace, which houses our 3D printers and 3D workstation. This was an area which I became particularly interested in and one that would be of particular use to any future intern interested in cultural heritage. I loved 3D Digitisation because it required me to create things. 3D has so much potential for education as it creates a hands-on learning experience and makes digital education more accessible and is an area that I would definitely recommend getting into! In addition to my 3D work, I learnt how to code, played with Arduino boards, and also completed highly precise Photoshop stitching on our Saxton’s ‘Atlas of England and Wales’ project.
I have also developed lots of skills in this role, including communication, photography and digital learning, which are really useful for my career development. However, I developed most during the greatest challenge of the internship: the Coronavirus crisis. I found it difficult to adapt to remote working at first, in both my University work and internship work. Yet, this new arrangement did provide opportunities to overcome many traditional obstacles using digital methodologies; something that this internship does best! We found digital ways to keep in touch, store files and data remotely, and even continued to work on digitisation projects from home. I struggled at first with organising my workload, but I overcame these issues by carefully planning my time. I also felt motivated by the amazing work of the DH Team and really proud to be working for this organisation when the team lent out our 3D printers to print PPE for those on the front lines during the crisis.
Fundamentally, my internship experience has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on my studies. It has helped with my planning and time-management and helped me explore new research possibilities. I have also taken on creative problem-solving tools from DH projects into my assignments. In one of my presentation groups, we used StoryMap and the module tutor was particularly impressed at how we used this digital application to demonstrate our points.
My time at the Lab has made me realise how important collaboration is. Previously, I assumed that people specialised into very narrow fields or career paths, yet this internship has shown how a team consisting of varying specialists in IT, data, heritage and learning can be run. It is an amazing opportunity for anyone interested in digital methodologies, e-learning, and heritage work. Overall, if I were to describe it in three words, they would be collaborative, experimental, and fun!