Breaking New Ground: Trainee Programme
The Breaking New Ground project has conserved, catalogued, digitised and made accessible 10,000 images from the John Laing Photographic Collection. Over the course of the project, the Breaking New Ground Trainee Programme saw that the skills needed to do this work were passed on to a new generation.
The project funding from John Laing Charitable Trust and Historic England paid for three trainee positions:
- Cataloguer Trainee
- Conservator Trainee
- Imaging Technician Trainee
Each trainee was managed by an expert in their field who helped them to learn a variety of technical skills. This project gave the managers the opportunity to pass on their knowledge to the next generation of heritage professionals.
Laing are proud of their record in developing the skills of their workforce. By making professional development a central part of the project’s aims, Breaking New Ground has continued this tradition.
Meet the trainees
Hi! As the Conservation Trainee for the John Laing Breaking New Ground Project. I have used various conservation tools and documentation methods to assess and preserve photographic materials in the Archive.
Before I started here, I was a Conservation student at Cardiff University, and later became a History of Art postgraduate student at University of Bristol. In between studying, I undertook several voluntary opportunities with museums in England and Wales. Eventually I landed the job at Historic England, kick-starting my career in photographic conservation.
Photographic processes became my passion at university, and I am thrilled to have had the chance to study them in depth here. Being a part of Historic England as a conservator has been a great opportunity to preserve these snippets of past events for future generations to see.
Imaging Technician Trainee
Hello! I was the Imaging Technician Trainee on the John Laing Breaking New Ground project. In my role I used a variety of capture methods to create digital copies of historic negatives and prints.
I graduated in 2014 with a first class BA(Hons) in Photography and since then have been volunteering and working for the National Trust. I’ve always loved historic photographs and I really wanted to combine my passion with my skills in photography and conservation so when I saw the project brief I just couldn’t resist!
It's an absolute privilege to have worked with such beautiful images and I am thrilled by the knowledge that the digitisation that I've done will enable so many people around the world to enjoy them for years to come.
Hi everyone! I'm Rachel and I joined the Breaking New Ground team as a Cataloguer Trainee. I was responsible for carrying out research and creating detailed catalogue records to agreed standards.
I studied Archaeology of Ancient Civilisations at the University of Liverpool and volunteered in museums alongside this. In the year before joining this project, I worked at the Historic England Archive in Swindon as an Archive Support Officer.
My role on Breaking New Ground was the perfect chance for me to gain more archive experience by researching a really diverse and interesting collection. The most exciting thing about the role was being able to reveal the stories behind the photographs, as this will really help others connect with the collection.