Claire - Principal Archivist
Tell us a little bit about yourself – Your work background, your interests…
Claire, Principal Archivist – qualified as a professional archivist in 1992 then worked as a research officer for the University of Reading for a year, travelling all over the UK finding out about archives of famous authors. This is probably still my favourite job of all time! After that I moved to Hampshire County Council where I was an archivist from 1993-2002 when I became Senior Records Manager. In 2006 I moved to Wiltshire to take up the role of Principal Archivist and in 2007 the service moved to the new Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre. This year we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the service and have been delighted to receive national accreditation for our service.
What's the best thing about working at Wiltshire Council, and your job specifically?
I have day to day operational management of the archive service looking after collections dating back to the 12th century. The archives include letters from Beatrix Potter, Thomas Hardy and Florence Nightingale, as well as visually stunning illuminated manuscripts. They shed so much light on our ancestors’ lives and tell the story of Wiltshire over the centuries. I feel incredibly lucky to have such an interesting and rewarding job and to work with great colleagues from across the Council. The archive service looks after the historic records of the Council as a whole so I feel we’re in a unique position of having some insight into the work of all departments as well as our own.
What is your favourite book or film, and why?
My favourite book is also my favourite film! I love the Stephen King short story ‘Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption’, which became a film which regularly tops the IMD top 250. It may seem a cliché but this story literally saved my life – at a few times in my life reading the book or watching the film restored my hope and sense of purpose. Sorry if that is a bit too heavy, but it’s true!
What is your ideal holiday destination?
This year I went to Los Angeles for the first time and fell in love with it. There is so much to see and do, and the weather was gorgeous – sunny all the time. If you love films it is fascinating doing the behind the scenes tours of the big studios like Paramount Pictures. Can’t recommend it enough!