Today is my last day as an intern at the RCS after 4 months of mainly working on the Jubilee Time Capsule. Helping out at the RCS through this hectic summer in Britain gave me loads of opportunities I would have never had otherwise. From watching the Jubilee River Pageant on Waterloo Bridge to an after-hours tour of Westminster Abbey, the perks of volunteering for the RCS have certainly not disappointed. I think the main perk though, has been working on a project as unique as the JTC (and I don’t HAVE to say that anymore so its definitely true).
Working on the JTC has given me a chance to read/hear/watch some incredible stories and learn a lot from the people of the Commonwealth about life all over the world, in places I didn’t even know existed before this summer (sorry, Norfolk Island). Entries in the JTC can be sad, funny, even a little frightening at times but all of them are informative in their own way. As an aspiring historian, I really appreciate how valuable a resource like the JTC will be for future generations of researchers of all ages looking at life in the Commonwealth over the last 60 years. Here are some of the entries that I have particularly enjoyed (not including my own, obviously):
Oscar Pistorius’ entry, a consistent staff favourite, is definitely on my list of top entries. He speaks humorously about learning that his disability didn’t have to mean disadvantage and his performance at London 2012 definitely proved just that.
We had several entries from the Jacaranda School for Orphans but one that stood out to me was from John Samson about going to the school and living with HIV. His entry is a moving look at a life that most people can’t imagine through the eyes of a child.
Zoe Simpson from the UK recorded her grandmother’s memories of being in London for the coronation in 1953 and after this year’s Jubilee celebrations it seems appropriate to include one of my favourite entries from the day it all began. Adoration of the Queen and the Royal Family is not in short supply in the JTC and as an American (I know, I know) I’ve been impressed by the positive outpouring of sentiment from the people of the Commonwealth for Queen Elizabeth II. It’s clear how much she means to so many people all over the world and it’s touching to see the memories that people want to share with the JTC to celebrate her reign.
I am sad my time at the RCS is over but apparently my MA takes priority (or so says my tutor), so instead of writing blog posts, I’ll be writing a dissertation for the remainder of the summer. I certainly won’t be forgetting everything I’ve gotten to do at the RCS and in the hopefully not-so-distant future, I’ll be able to work on a project as entertaining and informative as the JTC.