So today’s blog will be all about the exhibition because we were told nicely asked to by our supervisor. It will also talk about what it’s actually like being an intern for LJMU. Oh and not forgetting this week’s puzzle page from The Children’s Friend. Enjoy.

We have just finished our seventh week as interns for the LJMU archives and special collections department and so far it has been brilliant. We were told what the job entailed, how long it lasted for and what outcomes we were expected to produce but everything else was up to us. At first it seemed a little daunting but after we began brainstorming, we were on a roll! We came up with the blog, the online portfolio for students and the exhibition style.

We should probably stop using Snapchat filters.

The blog was a ploy to enhance our social media audience for the archives and special collections but also because it was something that allowed us to report back to the supervisors without having to write a full report every week. It is a great method of reaching friends and family all over social media by telling them what we have been up to and I suggest it to any future interns for the department. Not to mention it is a relaxing way to spend Thursday afternoons…

In terms of the internship as an LJMU endeavour, it was perfect for me because it meant that I was able to enter a working environment that I was already acquainted with and alongside people I had already known for the past year as a student in the University. It’s a mere 6 hours a day working from 10:00 to 16:00 with an hour’s break for lunch in the middle, an amazing pay, and a snug ten week working schedule. Along with that was the use of creating a project brief at the start of the internship after the brainstorming which allowed Roisin and I to pace our work and move smoothly along with checking the timetable to see what needs to be done next or if we had missed everything. The last week includes making a deck of Top Trumps for the University using the images of Victorian animals, however, I don’t believe that time will allow us the pleasure anymore.

Top Trumps Mock-up
A mock-up of some top trump cards I made with the digitised images in the online portfolio!

The idea of the internship was fascinating because it was a real life job for a set period of time that allowed be to build so many skills that I wouldn’t have been able to do until I was able to get a full time job after university. I have increased my researching skills and organising skills but have also slowed down my pace. I realised that I was working without the rest of the world and when we needed those other people, schedules and permission was really hard to work around. An example would be the sheet music selected from The Children’s Friend for the blog. I tried so hard to liaise with so many people regarding the pianist, the piano’s, the location, the recording equipment, liability forms, copyright information for the university and the technicians. This all proved improbable for the blog or even the time limit, which we have set ourselves so we had to expand. The music is now to be used for the exhibition alongside the audiotape that will be made. Phew, finally.

Other than more music organising, this week has been dedicated to organising the exhibition research into a book for students and the script for the audio tape. It has actually been deceivingly difficult as we only have a finite space to exhibit books, journals and images but we have so much more information that is really interesting, or at least it is for us researchers. We have really had to finesse our work so that it is ready for the exhibition to take place but we have also had to think about the physical arrangements meaning we checked all over the internet to find black, fluffy animal track stickers to go around the exhibition. Even EBay doesn’t have anything. I guess we are going to have to settle for non-fluffy ones and be boring.

One of the things that has stood out from this week’s work is the information that Roisin managed to find regarding circus culture in the Victorian era. Hugely useful for the exhibition but also massively ‘normal’, it’s just another thing that we can relate to in modern day with animals being mistreated. Below is an image of a Lion face to face with a ringmaster. The image has been taken from the 1842 collective issue of Punch and is called ‘Animal Magnetism’. After having devised a set of recurrent themes for the images we have chosen, it is with no surprise that this image resides within ‘work’ and ‘cruelty’. Comment below with your thoughts on the image and for any more information, you’ll have to come and see our exhibition upon completion!

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Mayhew, H (1842) Punch. London: Bradbury and Evans.

All-in-all, the seven weeks have so far been amazing, they have allowed me to make a great new friend, Roisin, do something useful with my time off throughout the summer period, and make it so that I can make ends meet after the final student loan of the year had run out (not hard when it’s only a grand to last you over three months). I would definitely recommend the internship to any new student wishing to get a temporary job that would look amazing on your CV as well as boosting your confidence in a genuine workplace.

Before we say goodbye for another week, here is the next puzzle page from The Children’s Friend! Don’t forget to check your answers from the previous page but also, please comment with your answers so I can see how you are all faring against the children that submit the puzzles! 😉

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Wilson, C. (1884) The Children’s Friend. London: S. W. Partridge & Co. p. 79.

Thanks for reading! Here is a Smudge for your troubles;

One of the reasons I love animals and this project.

Jade x