As part of my second year work placement at Chichester, I have been researching the role and impact of the English Civil War in West Sussex and digitising newspaper articles from the time relating to the topic. Working at Worthing Library, I’ve been discovering more about Civil War events in the County (such as the fight at Chichester in 1642, the Siege of Arundel in 1643/44 and the rebellions against Parliamentary Rule at Horsham in 1648) and then using microfilm technology to find newspapers written at the time which provide accounts of these events. I’ve then digitised these articles so that they can be added to a virtual archives collection for people to access in the future for their own research.
The placement has been a fascinating and hugely enjoyable experience. It has been really interesting being able to better engage with the history of the local area and gaining an improved understanding of how the overarching events of the Civil Wars impacted actions on a more local level. The chance to work with specialists in local history has been fantastic and has given me a greater insight into the methods and debates behind historical research. Learning how theories I’ve been taught in lectures and seminars can be applied to other areas of research will be immensely useful for my dissertation, whilst the placement as a whole has shown me other career paths that I could potentially pursue after I finish university. I would certainly recommend the placement to anybody and am grateful for the friendliness and support of those at Worthing Library and for the opportunity as part of my degree.