Author: Public Record Office Victoria

For students studying Information Management at university, there is often a requirement to undertake a short work placement at an organisation in the GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) sector to gain some firsthand workplace experience. This can help students to see what kind of work information professionals do, and to work out where they are most interested in working in the future. On occasion PROV receives requests from students who are interested in doing their work placement here.

For the second half of August, PROV hosted Yoshiyuki, a university student from Tokyo, for a two week placement where he was able to compare the two different worlds of archives in Japan and Australia. Due to the fairly recent introduction of tertiary archival studies to Japan, Yoshiyuki studies library science, but he was particularly interested in the Australian system of archives administration. 

While there are two main sections at PROV that work with the collection – Access Services and Government Services – each one comprises a lot of different areas of work that make up our role as the archive for the Victorian Government. To provide a good overview of the breadth of activities performed at PROV, the two week program involved exposure to work in both sections.

In Access Services, this included: 
•    retrieving and returning records in the repository
•    assisting researchers in the reading room and learning how to conduct archival research
•    identifying and rehousing fragile records
•    using specialised equipment to create digitised copies of records in the collection. 

In Government Services this included learning about:
•    how PROV assists government recordkeeping practices
•    the Victorian Electronic Records Strategy (VERS) and digital archiving
•    the development and use of Retention and Disposal Authorities (RDAs)
•    how to identify record series
•    how records are transferred to PROV.

At the conclusion of his two weeks at PROV, Yoshiyuki wrote a short post about his experiences here learning about the work we do. 

About my experience in PROV.

Hello, everyone! My name is Yoshiyuki Shibuya. I study history and library science at Rikkyo University, Tokyo and I have been at PROV for an internship.
The reason why I came to PROV is that I wanted to know how Australian archives worked.
I also think that the distance between library and archives is getting closer in terms of the way of keeping items (eg. databases, metadata and so on) because of the age of digitization.
During my internship, I tackled many jobs. For example, picking up items users ordered, attending many meetings concerning the government service and digitization and so on.
These jobs were very impressive to me.
In addition to this, I also learned what the staff were going to do for the future.
In fact, there are some tasks that PROV has to solve, such as the renewal of its website and database, digitization projects, etc. 
I felt that these problems were difficult, but I saw many staff working hard with them.
I’m looking forward to seeing great progress in the future.
In the end, I want to thank the staff at PROV.
They taught me many things kindly and talked with me warmly.
Thank you!
I hope to bring this experience to Japan.
Thank you for reading.

Yoshiyuki Shibuya

Introduction written by Samantha Courtier. 

Students who are interested in doing their placement at PROV should email people.culture@prov.vic.gov.au for more information.

Material in the Public Record Office Victoria archival collection contains words and descriptions that reflect attitudes and government policies at different times which may be insensitive and upsetting

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should be aware the collection and website may contain images, voices and names of deceased persons.

PROV provides advice to researchers wishing to access, publish or re-use records about Aboriginal Peoples