Two of our NAT100 project volunteers share their experiences of working on the NAT archive.


Lorna Alexander, NAT100 Digitisation Volunteer

At the Norfolk Record Office, my job is to digitise the Norfolk Archaeological Trust minute books. That involves going through every page and snapping a picture of each one. Usually, I take five images so as to not get overwhelmed during the file-naming stage. Then, on the computer, I go through the images and make sure they are cropped and straightened correctly. Occasionally this also involves retaking pictures! For example, if the text is obscured by shadow or disappearing into the gutter (the middle of the book). Or if the lighting isn’t quite acceptable, I either have to move the lights we use or fiddle with the exposure and brightness settings on the software.

After this, I export them into two formats (JPEG and TIFF) and title each image according to a specific referencing system. The process is then repeated! So far, I’ve gone through quite a few volumes ranging from the early 20th century all the way up to just a few years ago.

The reasons behind doing this work are preservation and accessibility. Paper doesn’t always last so making a permanent record that in theory can never age is absolutely essential. Additionally, having the collections be easily accessed by the public means that we can share NAT’s history with a broader audience and show people the importance of the Trust’s work.

My work with NAT so far has been insightful and very interesting! Recently, I got to research into Basil Cozens-Hardy who was Honorary Secretary for NAT for most of his life. This then informed the interpretation that is featured on our blog, which can be found through the link below.

Norfolk Archaeological Trust’s early Council Members | Norfolk Archaeological Trust (

William Webster, NAT100 Cataloguing and Digitisation Volunteer

I have been a volunteer on the NAT100 project since September 2023. My duties have been varied and exposed me to a number of different processes and responsibilities involved in archival work.

To begin with, I was mainly engaged in the digitisation of NAT’s minute books. Covering important developments and milestones across NAT’s long history, I (along with other volunteers) have worked through minute books spanning from the early 20th century to the present day. I made use of professional cameras and specialised software to document the pages of these minute books, often adjusting the lights and camera settings to ensure the photos taken were up to archival standard.

I have also spent time cataloguing the minute books. This involved looking through the content of each entry in the minute books and noting down any relevant information, from important developments at NAT sites to the names of attendees at particular meetings. I entered this information into a spreadsheet so that key information from the minute books has been summarised and can be easily accessed.

With an academic background in history and a personal interest in archaeology, I’ve enjoyed learning first-hand how NAT’s work has evolved over the decades as well as getting to know the story behind the various Norfolk sites that have been preserved thanks to NAT’s work. The experience I’ve gained from this opportunity has been of great value and I’m glad to have played a role in the progress of this project.