Day in the life of a Public Services Officer

Name: Joe Waterfield

What do you do? I am a Public Services Officer, this means that I help people to find and use items in our collections. I issue licences for the use of material and I work out where the items can be found physically and digitally.

RCAHMS Search Room

The open access photo boxes in the search room. Loads of architectural and archaeological photographs from around Scotland. Anyone can come and have a look at these, maybe you can see your house!

How did you get here? I studied history at university and since graduating I have been working in the heritage sector.

What are you working on today? Today I have sent a reporter some photographs from the Buildings at Risk Register to use in a newspaper article, I have talked to a librarian about using SCRAN images in a display, and I have supplied RCAHMS GIS data that will be used as part of a collaborative research project.

Favourite part of your job? My favourite part of the job is the sheer breadth of people and objects it puts me in touch with. One day I could be collecting photos of buildings designed by James Salmon for a public exhibition, another day I could be helping a customer access a photograph of a relative.

What did university not teach you? I used archives as a researcher when studying at university, but I had not experienced working in archives ‘behind the scenes’. Requesting a particular document is a completely different kettle of fish to actually trying to find that document, especially in a collection as diverse as the items held by RCAHMS.

Click here to see a vine of my day!