Placement Opportunities Available
Below you can find all the recent placement opportunities currently available to LAHP students.
The National Archives – Working with the High Court of Admiralty’s records
As the archive of Crown and State government, The National Archives (TNA) holds a vast range of records on life in the British Isles and beyond over the past 1000 years. TNA is pleased to invite students on a placement for six to twelve weeks, full or part time, depending on student requirements.
We currently have a placement opportunity in the Collections Expertise and Engagement department, working with the diverse and largely unexplored records of the High Court of Admiralty. The placement will focus on letters, papers and legal records relating to early modern piracy, prize-taking, colonialism and overseas exchange, 1536–1783. The successful candidate has the option to work with a number of collections depending on their historical or linguistic interests, including, but is not limited to, early miscellanea (c.1536–c.1660) and the Prize Papers, which are documents seized from ships (c.1652-1815). The records are in English, but with a significant number in other European languages, particularly French, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish and Danish.
The post holder will conduct an initial survey of uncatalogued materials and work to enhance existing information about their contents, with the aim of improving access to these records. For the length of the placement, the candidate will be embedded in a small team of experienced specialists who work on the High Court of Admiralty’s records. The placement will also be tailored to the candidate’s interests and future career aims, with the potential to work on related projects with other departments at TNA, such as public engagement, education and digital content with the intention of broadening engagement with these records beyond established academic and research communities, in support of our role as archive sector lead.
Start & end date of placement: dates to be agreed with the student, please contact email@example.com.
Hours of work:
To be agreed with the student. The placement will involve working with original documents onsite, but with the potential for some work to be conducted at home.
The placement will suit students with an interest in academic and public history, collaborative research, cultural heritage or the GLAM sector.
There are no minimum skills requirements, but a successful placement student will be able to demonstrate:
- A keen interest in the histories of early modern colonialism, seafaring, maritime law, linguistics, overseas migration and diasporas, international trade, and/or piracy.
- As this placement is focussed on original documents written in 16th, 17th and 18th century handwriting, it would be desirable for the placement student to have some experience of reading handwriting from these periods already. If not, the successful candidate will need to be willing and able to learn how to do so quickly, with support from the placement supervisor and team.
- Experience of archival research desirable.
- Competencies in French, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish and/or Danish also desirable.
Expected project outcomes:
The results of the student’s findings will primarily be used to:
- Enhance our online cataloguing for the specified collection.
- Utilise some of the records for publication, perhaps as blogs or educational resources, intended for public and academic engagement.
- Other expected outcomes will depend on the student’s interests and any resulting work that they undertake with other departments at TNA.
For further details, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Archives – Visualising naval networks in the Admiralty China Station records
The Admiralty China Station was a naval command of the British Royal Navy that operated in China and the Far East from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century. The station was responsible for protecting British interests in the region, including trade routes, British colonies and territories, and British citizens living in China and surrounding areas. The China Station played a significant role in various conflicts, including the Opium Wars, the Boxer Rebellion, and both World Wars, through both formal and informal diplomacy. The series of correspondence from the Station headquarters (ADM 125), is a valuable, but very underused resource for exploring the history of the region from a variety of angles.
The National Archives has historical military records which contain ideas, text and imagery which reflect the viewpoints and attitudes prevalent at the time the records were written, and may now be considered offensive. Original language is preserved to accurately represent our records and to help us fully understand the past.
In this three-month placement we are inviting a student with interests in transnational history, and digital humanities to uncover some of the stories from this correspondence series using social network analysis. Over three months the student would be supported to:
- Explore the structure and content of the series to identify a topic of interest. These could include the histories of enslaved people in Asia and other countries/continents, naval geopolitics, environmental history (the effect of the Navy on ecologies in Asia in creating demand for foods, fuel or other natural resources), history of technology (e.g. transfer of steam technologies and industrialisation in the region), trade and social customs, and the laws of the sea and piracy.
- Identify three volumes of correspondence to ‘map’ using social networks analysis technologies such as Palladio.
- Analyse the significance of the findings from that mapping.
- Engage the public with those records/histories in imaginative ways through contributing to ETNA, and writing a blog post for The National Archives or (e.g. Global Maritime History)
The student would be hosted in the Collections Expertise and Engagement department, by Pad Kumlertsakul, who is a records adviser with extensive experience in researching transnational histories in The National Archives’ collections, and particularly Asian history. These have included using the Admiralty China Station records in a blog post on The First Sino-Japanese War and the ‘Kowshing’ Incident, international research collaborations on the ‘Curating Crisis’ project and exploring digital humanities technologies.
Bruno Pappalardo, Principal Records Specialist in Naval Records and Bernard Ogden, Research Software Engineer, will provide further support. Bruno’s many publications on ADM records at TNA are standard reference points and he has worked on a variety of projects exploring digital collaborations using naval records. Bernard has extensive software experience, including work on digital humanities projects at The National Archives.
The hosts would provide the student with support in developing skills in a variety of areas including archival research, metadata creation, and data visualisation. They would also be supported by the placement hosts in developing skills in curatorial writing and have the opportunity to write about their work on the project for the TNA blog and to support TNA staff in production of evergreen curatorial content for the website.
The National Archives will benefit in a number of ways from this project. It will provide better understanding of this record series and contribute to ongoing work to find ways to build international research projects/collaborations and allow us to further surface voices and experiences of historical actors from East and South-East Asia.
Start & end date of placement
Three-month project, start date to be negotiated with placement student any time from November onwards. The placement would be full-time over a three-month period.
Hours of work
The placement would be full-time over a three-month period. In order to work closely with the records, the placement would be predominantly onsite.
- In order to do this work a student would need to have ONE of (i) experience of working with archival records; OR (ii) some experience of working with Social Network Analysis. The student would be provided with support for developing skills in both of those areas. However, some level of experience in one of them is essential.
- Enthusiasm for thinking through transnational/transcultural histories in the region of East/South East Asia. Within that broad scope, this project offers the opportunity to explore a wide selection of thematic areas.
- Interest in the possibilities of digital tools and techniques to uncover and analyse historical narratives from archival records.
- Willing to engage sensitively to cultural and linguistic diversity, particularly in the context of British imperialism and its impact on the local populations in China and the Far East.
Expected project outcomes
- Dataset exploring one thematic aspect of the Admiralty Station records
- Write a TNA blog reflecting on your research
- Support TNA staff in production of evergreen curatorial content for the website
Outcomes for student
- Development of research and archival practice skills (as above)
- Development of digital humanities techniques
- Development of skills in writing
- Dataset/data visualisation that can be presented in other contexts
For further details, please contact: email@example.com
Royal College of Physicians – Recording the 20th century library
The project intends to make the provenance information in an early-20th century accessions register accessible today. It can be completed remotely, and would fall into three parts, which can run concurrently:
- Transcribing the handwritten ledger entries in summary. They record the author, title and date of the book, and details of who donated it or where we bought it, and when we acquired it. Most of this data hasn’t previously been included in our main library catalogue.
- Matching the entries to books in the library catalogue today, and updating the catalogue entry with the provenance info.
- Researching interesting or major donations – who gave the books, what books were given – and writing that up for library website and social media channels.
Start & end date of placement: Ad hoc placements to be agreed with the student.
Hours of work: Negotiable, part-time preferred
Essential criteria: Ability to read or to learn to read early 20th century handwriting.
Deadline: No specific deadline, placements are available throughout the academic year.
To apply, please complete the expression of interest and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org
For further details, please contact Katie Birkwood (Rare books and special collections Librarian) email@example.com
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – multiple opportunities
There are multiple placement opportunities at Kew across a range of departments including, communications, public programmes, collections and science.
Placements at Kew are usually 3 months and there are various options for onsite, hybrid and remote working. Areas of Kew that are open to hosting PhD students are advertised on their website, as well as a select number of predefined projects that have a deadline for applications and are completed in a specified timeframe.
Upcoming deadlines for predefined projects:
PhD placement/PIPS: Developing a book of Madagascar grasses – deadline 6 October 2023
PhD placement/PIPS: Community Open Week 2024 – deadline 31 October 2023
Full details on all placement opportunities at Kew available here