Graham

Hello fellow Information Management and Preservation students.

My name is Graham McNee. I am 24 years old and I was born in Glasgow and raised in Giffnock, a suburb in the Southside Glasgow in the East Renfrewshire council area. I was an undergraduate here at the University of Glasgow. I started off doing and LLB with history but after my second year I switched to doing my Honours in history. I first developed an interest in libraries and archives as an undergraduate. As a law student, finding the precise authority relevant to the assigned problem was often the most important part of your assessment. Making use of the law library and the university library, as well as specialist databases such as Westlaw, made me aware of the importance of effective archival and library systems, both physical and digital, both for the purposes of research and in society a whole. The creation of consistent laws, whether in the common law or through statutes, depends on decisions being effectively recorded, preserved and categorised so that they can be easily referred to.

This interest was reinforced by the experience of using the universities specialist collections during my history Honours. My topic, The Role of the threat of Jacobititsim in propaganda for the union of 1707, required me to locate and examine many political pamphlets from the era. While many would consider such manuscripts for literary products than records in the traditional sense, working with them nonetheless illustrated further to me the importance of libraries and archives to facilitating greater understanding of the past through carefully preserving evidence and organising it so that it is readily accessible.

After I graduated, the memory of these experiences led me to consider archiving and records management as a potential career choice. I graduated with a 2:1 in history in 2012 but I felt little satisfaction in that achievement. I had found it difficult to balance all of my assignments during my final year. I had not established any professional connections or friendships while in university and I had few interests outside of academics. Coming to the end of my studies made me feel rather lost and adrift, as I wasn’t sure what I should do or even if there was anything I would be qualified to do.

I started to investigate MSc’s and became drawn to archiving, librarianship and information management degrees due to my past experience with. After doing some research into these professions, I came to believe that some of the qualities that I had displayed and developed during my studies, such as a strong long term memory and the use of databases for research might make me suitable for a career in these professions. I had some experience with archiving as I did a brief placement with West Dunbartonshire Council through the National Autistic Society. The placement was very short and mostly consisted of data entry. My task was to enter the catalogue number and production code of the manufacturer’s reference drawings of various types Singer Company sewing machines and to check that the photographic reference for the drawings matched the production code that it was linked to within the system, so as correct any errors that had made their way into the catalogue. Having rather enjoyed that experience, even if it was repetitive, I decided that this was a career path which presented a reasonably good chance of providing me with satisfying employment. After looking at a number of relevant courses decided to apply for the University of Glasgow’s IMP course as it offered the broadest range of professional accreditation in these fields that was available in Scotland.

I live in Giffnock with my parents, brother and sister. I am an adult only in the purely physical sense.

Graham

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