Digital and Local History at Newman

Second year student Dan Bonehill tells us about his work placement…

For my work placement I have been given the task of developing the ‘Newman Local History’ website into a more user friendly environment.  Therefore my work experience is not directly related solely to history. Not only has this enhanced my historical knowledge but it has allowed me to enhance my ‘web-development’ skills base, not something I thought I would ever do. For example I now know what a ‘tag’ is on a website. 
The most useful life skill my work experience has taught me is not something that is easy to obtain or understand, something usually only practice or an ‘enlightenment’ can bring,  this is how to research properly. It was only by looking through some of the late Dr Chris Upton’s research techniques, that I have learnt how the smallest ideas can create the biggest achievements; a perfect example of this is how I have recently scanned some of his archive work on ‘Ballooning in the 19th and 20th centuries’. This proves how vital it is to read every last detail because to some, what would be a ballooning article, actually turned out to inspire someone to write countless articles on the importance of local history.
Whilst combining my website management skills and the skills I have learnt on research and how to research things properly, this has allowed me to develop my historical career because I can now use the skills I have learnt for real life applications e.g writing my dissertation.  Whilst this is admittedly just a whistle stop tour of my work experience programme, I feel it does at least show how something that is not necessarily related to my subject of study can be manipulated into giving me vital skills that can be reused, but also skills that will enhance my CV.
Dan Bonehill

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