Richard III: Historical Data Development

Posted on 15 January 2014

Admittedly, having applied for a data-entry internship with the Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past, I expected most of my time to be spent reading, commenting on, and finally uploading historical articles into an online database – much how the internship was originally described.

Who was the real Richard III?

Of course, much of my time was spent doing just that, but this internship proved to be far more dynamic, exciting, and rewarding that I imagined. I often found myself meeting with the various content creators, relaying information between them and the technical director of the project, bringing the project supervisor up to speed on recent developments, and even attending a meeting to showcase the resource we created to our project partners in the wider community. These exchanges were the highlights of my time interning with IPUP, as was taking a browse through our finished product. Of course, with my position being a sort of filter between the content creators and the technical director, I often found myself pressed between competing time-scales, but this was taken in stride and, with a little shifting of my schedule, I managed to achieve all the tasks charged to me.

I initially chose to apply for this internship because I hoped that it would allow me to gain some experience in a digital humanities environment. Of course, I did indeed gain digital humanities experience, but I also gained so much more. From new knowledge of a historical period different from my own academic focus, to renewed IT skills, to increased editorial and communication skills, the skills I’ll take away from this internship will serve me well moving forward. However, it’s the experience and the people I met in the course of this internship that truly made it a fun and exciting experience – academically, professionally and personally. I would highly recommend the internship program to anyone looking to bolster their academic skills with important work experience. Not only is it good for the pocketbook and the CV, it provides you with professional perspective, new skills, and contacts that may be extremely beneficial.

Keith Ruiter

IPUP Intern