Hi everyone! My name is Negin Irvanipour. A few things about me are that I am currently a collections university placement trainee placement at Headstone manor. I am a second year History student at Queen Mary University of London. To me, history offers us an awareness of the present through the understanding of the past. History is a broad subject, from learning about cultural history to learning about the history of architecture.
Being a second-year student has often been challenging but rewarding. I have had the privilege and opportunity to learn about various types of historical content. Here are a few subjects that I have thoroughly enjoyed so far:
- The study of contemporary historical films such as Dunkirk, Suffragette, The Help, Jackie. This was interesting as I would never have thought I would be able to study this as part of my degree.
- History of East London– this was important as my university is based in East London and I learnt about the experiences of ethnic minorities in East London and the history of immigration in East London. I believe it is important to study the history of where your university is located as this provide students with a better understanding of culture, community and religion that surrounds them.
- Studying a language (Latin) – Currently, I am studying Latin. I haven’t had any prior experience and thought that this would be a good opportunity to learn a new language.
I have always had an interest with cultural heritage, the importance of historical buildings and how some buildings are more significant and known than others. It is important for member of the community to be in touch with their cultural routes and should be widely celebrated within the community. These are just a few reasons as to why I chose to work with Headstone manor. I was particularly interested as Headstone manor is that they are focused on celebrating culture, ethnicity, religion.
One key example is that the museum celebrates Southeast Asian heritage month and celebrating the 75th Anniversary of India’s independence. Additionally, the museum engages with the buildings that share the history of Harrow, as well as discovering the history of Harrow by gathering memories from family, friends, and other useful resources. It is inspiring to see a community that is united and willing to share personal experiences and memories to discover the history of Harrow. Finally, I appreciate the fact that Headstone Manor & Museum are focused on providing the audience with family activities and events to make it more engaging and more enjoyable for anyone visiting the museum.
I have only recently joined; however, I have already had the opportunity to complete various tasks. On my first day, I was asked to shadow a volunteer in cataloguing (the textile department). She taught me how to catalogue the textile boxes, what to write a description of the items, and how to judge the material and the conditions of the materials. It was useful to work with another person as she was able to help and guide me. This activity links in well with the task that I was transferring cataloguing information from the paper onto a spreadsheet on the computer. It was interesting how the data is transferred digitally.
So far, my experience at Headstone Manor has been very welcoming, engaging, enjoyable and a very positive experience and I am looking forward to continuing to learn about the curating and archiving world and to gain more experience in those sectors.