Digital Preservation / Education and Outreach Trainee with Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and Midlothian Council

If you have arrived at this page you are looking at last year's Traineeship Programme, and you need to go here instead please.


Full-time, fixed term work-based training placement of 51 weeks to start in September 2015

• Bursary of £14,500 per annum
• Skills focus: Digitisation, Education and Outreach
• Location: Edinburgh/Midlothian


This traineeship is one of 6 offered this year in archive services across Scotland as part of the Opening up Scotland’s Archives project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

For more information on the traineeship programme please download the Trainee Information Pack.

The Host Organisations

This is a joint traineeship shared between two host organisations.

Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS). For over 100 years the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland has been recording and surveying our archaeological, architectural and industrial heritage, creating Scotland’s National Collection of materials and information on the historic and built environment. The Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland holds one of the world’s largest and most important aerial photographic archives – made up of over 1.6 million images of Scotland, and over 10 million military reconnaissance images from across the globe – and some 3 million drawings, prints, maps, manuscripts and photographs. Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland's continually growing collections are an internationally important resource, helping to connect people to places across time. Our archive material is made widely available through publications, interactive online collections database, major exhibitions held at venues across the country, and via a public search room at the RCAHMS premises in Edinburgh.

Midlothian Council Archives manages and provides access to the corporate archives of Midlothian Council and its predecessor authorities, including four burgh councils of Midlothian (Bonnyrigg and Lasswade, Dalkeith, Loanhead and Penicuik). The collection also includes a wide range of material from local businesses, schools, churches, clubs and societies, and private individuals. The collection is an invaluable resource for local and family history. It spans from the seventeenth century to the present and covers all aspects of the history and culture of Midlothian.

The Archive Service is part of the Midlothian Local and Family History Library and is based in Library Headquarters in Loanhead with an additional store in Bonnyrigg.

Midlothian Archives consists of a small but busy team. Their principal aim is to encourage greater use and awareness of the collection and to make it accessible to users of different abilities, including academics, schoolchildren and retired people.

Recent projects have included an online Roll of Honour of Midlothian casualties of the First World War and an activity pack for primary schools using census data to reconstruct a local high street. Staff are also creating online catalogues and finding aids as well as supporting the activities of local history societies. Find out more here.


The Role

This joint traineeship will take participants through the full lifecycle of archival materials, from initial accessioning to making materials available to the public and exploiting them to develop educational resources.

The first six-months of the traineeship will be delivered by the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and will focus on digital archiving and preservation. Activities for the trainee will focus on making RCAHMS extensive and exciting digital collections accessible and cared for. RCAHMS digital collections focus on the archaeology and architecture of Scotland's Historic Environment and cover a wide range of interesting and challenging formats and content ranging from 3D laser scans and CAD, digital video and images through to more standard MS office formats. The trainee will focus on the recovering archive from storage media, characterising the files and preparing them for processing into our new Preservica system. The trainee will also focus on cataloguing archive and working with our depositing community to bring material into our collections. 

The next six-months of the traineeship will be delivered by Midlothian Council and will involve outreach work with Midlothian schools. Activities will be designed to fit in with the ethos and principles of the Curriculum for Excellence, and will include the development of learning materials, activity sheets, and suggestions for further projects based on archival materials. The trainee will be encouraged to think creatively to develop new learning materials based on the service’s archival holdings, with a focus on encouraging pupils to get involved in actively shaping their own learning activities.

At the end of each portion of the traineeship, the trainee will be expected to produce a finished and professionally-presented piece of work. To conclude the first six-months, the trainee will deliver a presentation to Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland staff on their experience of the traineeship. By the end of the 12-months, the trainee will be expected produce a pack of learning materials, to be used by teachers themselves in the classroom. Throughout the traineeship, the trainee will also be encouraged to document his/her progress via blogs and social media updates.

The traineeship will provide an excellent confidence-building opportunity as the trainee sees his or her ideas through to finished products of lasting value to both the host organisations and the trainee.

What you will gain as a trainee

During the traineeship you will build a portfolio of skills, experience and training designed for you to take forward into future employment. At induction you will be provided with your training plan setting out the learning objectives and activities in more detail. The training programme is responsive to the individual trainee requirements and you will therefore have the opportunity to liaise with your trainer to establish an individual programme of support.

Through the University of Dundee you will also have the opportunity to undertake accredited distance learning modules. This may be used to count towards a future qualification in Archives or a related discipline.

As a trainee you will gain:

• Practical hands-on training supported by skilled professionals at your host archive service
• General workplace skills essential for a career in the cultural heritage sector
• Knowledge of the archival sector and related professions and practice in museums and libraries
• Real experience to add to your CV to help you find a job in the archive or wider heritage sector
• A network of trainees, supervisors, mentors and colleagues to support you through the year and help you explore ‘what next’

At the end of your 12-month traineeship, you will be supported to match your new skills with entry-level posts in the archive or cultural heritage sector and/or explore further training and qualifications.

About you

Are you
• Passionate about learning new skills?
• Enthusiastic about taking on new challenges?
• Looking for a new career?
• Confident in using IT?
• Always on social media (or want to learn more)?
• Great at getting on with people?

If so, we’re looking for a trainee with the potential to develop a new career in the archive sector. We want to build on your practical skills and experience in IT and show you the great opportunities that archives and their collections can offer.



• An interest in the heritage sector and community engagement
• Higher English, or equivalent, and Standard Grade Math, or equivalent.
• Good, demonstrable, IT skills and experience in using IT and the web for a range of activities; willingness and ability to acquire additional technical skills, such as those required for archival cataloguing, to undertake the role
•Demonstrable commitment to sharing and accessing information online
•Good communication skills, both spoken and written, and the ability to gather and share information in an interesting and understandable way
• Ability to work as part of a team and undertake self-directed research and projects
• Good people skills and the ability to engage with a variety of different groups and individuals
• Good problem solving skills, the ability to develop processes and procedures for new activities and resilience in coping with and overcoming setbacks
• Good manual dexterity and attention to detail.


• Experience of creating web content/resources, whether in a personal or organisational context
• Good organisational and time management skills
• Understanding of working with the public / good ‘customer care’.
• Interest in or experience of local history, including the role of local authorities
• Interest in or experience of primary and/or secondary education
• Artistic / graphic design skills or experience 



The deadline for applications has now passed.

Interviews will be held on 28 July 2015

In order to apply for a SCA traineeship you must be able to demonstrate that you have a right to work legally in the UK.