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Image: great gold buckle from the Sutton Hoo ship burial; one of millions of images available to us punters through the British Museum’s online catalogue.

I mentioned earlier this week I was hoping to go to a work-related seminar today, and so I did. It was about conservation of historical documents and it was, for the most part, very interesting.

The best nugget was learning that the British Museum’s whole object catalogue is online. You can browse the database of nearly four million objects (and growing), with good descriptions and high quality photos. (Try the advanced search. Nobody uses the advanced search and that makes the head of cataloguing very sad).

The lowlight was a presentation about trying to bring diversity to historical research. The speaker carefully never defined diversity, but told us the measures they’d taken (they who? The Arts Council, I think) to increase ‘diverse’ trainees in history. Like, eliminating the degree requirement for entrance and ultimately limiting the program to London. And even then, they had a three in ten dropout rate. This was after a day of being told the pool of jobs was shrinking.

It boils down to: taking scarce jobs away from qualified English people who want them to foist them upon unqualified, unspecified ‘diverse’ people who don’t.

And with that depressing thought, I bid you a good weekend!

February 19, 2016 — 10:24 pm
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