Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Beginning to Update the Tremough Resource List

This week I have begun updating the History of Tremough Resource List , which is one of the many tasks the trainee will work on each year. For those of you who are not familiar with this list, it is a Research Guide, produced by Grace (2012-13 trainee) to offer users suggestions and direction towards where they might be able to find out more about the history of the Tremough Estate, which Penryn Campus is built on.
Unfortunately we do not hold many archives directly relating to the campus’ history (a growing number nonetheless!) but, understandably, we are often first port of call for those looking for such. This has therefore been a fantastic alternative to offer keen researchers.
Tremough House

When I first came to Tremough, I found it so unusual yet intriguing to see a historic house and grounds as the basis with a University Campus. Like many, I immediately wanted to know the back story behind this estate. Boasting a long history, that can be traced as far back as 1309, with early references to a Nicholas de Tremoghe, the estate has been everything from the C18th home of the Sheriff of Cornwall to a convent school in the C20th. I can very much understand the student interest.

Tremough House
Before I began to edit the list, I first and foremost did a bit of preliminary research into what makes a good resource list. It seems there are many archives who have likewise found producing guides useful for offering suggestions to aid our readers’ research.

Some particular favourites have been the Postal Heritage Archive Research Guides found here which include the use of highlighted tables, timelines and images from the archives to break up the text. The ultimate goal of a guide is always to find a way to present large quantities of information in an accessible way, and these are just some of the ways of achieving this. The West Yorkshire Archives also employ coloured borders and bullet points carefully to reach this same aim.

I’m looking to employ similar formatting techniques for our guide as well as editing the list to mimic the path a researcher would naturally wish to take when exploring resources – starting with books held here at Tremough library, on the Penryn Campus, and leading finally to archive material held further afield.
The really exciting part will be that I am able to undertake some additional research myself, with potential visits to local institutions, such as Penryn Museum, to see what resources I can uncover and add to the list.

As well as building on our knowledge of the sources that can be found locally, shifting from the role of research facilitator to researcher at regular opportunities is also beneficial when working in archives to maintain an understanding of the needs and aims users may wish to have met, which can only strengthen my ability to provide a good service in the Archives.  You can follow my progress in the search for resources on this blog.

 Now that I am feeling rather inspired, I am ready to get stuck in and hopefully do justice to all of Grace’s hard work and invaluable research. What will the next trainee add I wonder?

Tremough garden