To start off my new blog posts, I thought it would be nice to reflect on my experience as Collections Volunteer at the Mary Rose Trust. I feel that work experience is a vital part of university life, what better time to learn new skills along with experiencing the industry you aspire to be a part of than when you have days off while other people are using it as free time. Which is why, when I came across a tweet posted by the Mary Rose Museum asking for volunteers to help digitise their extensive collection of 35mm slides, I knew I had to snap up the opportunity. I spent three months at the Mary Rose, and I feel that in that time I have learnt so much - from the skills that are needed to pursue this career to experiencing the working environment and the history behind the Mary Rose itself. The opportunity to see such an incredible archive from behind the scenes was amazing. Since volunteering at The Mary Rose, I now have more passion to make this my career and help bring more amazing material to life through digitisation.
On my last day volunteering at The Mary Rose I digitised the 3,000th slide which was such a high to leave on. This led to me to think about all the photographs I had the pleasure of digitising and which ones caught my eye the most. I always planned on writing a blog post about my experience, explain the process and techniques of the digitisation – however, I thought it would be more interesting to write about the photographs themselves.
Within the Collections Volunteer team there was a variety of different people with different interests, some interested in photography, some interested in archaeology etc, which meant everyone had different photographs that jump out at them. For me personally, I was interested in the amazingly vivid colours that the film captures. It still fascinates me how much more detail can be captured by film compared to a digital photograph. Laying a pack of 24 slides, all with the bright blue sea as such a beautiful back drop, on a light box was such a joy to see.
The two images below are photographs that really caught my eye. The similar composition is totally coincidental. While there are thousands of photographs of the objects recovered from The Mary Rose wreck site, as a photographer, I was intrigued by the behind the scenes shots that document the divers while on breaks, the fashion from the 1970s and 1980's, the people that basically made this happen. These photographs are crucial in an archive and were my favourites.