Excel for Archivists: Practical Training Workshops
Excel can be an invaluable tool for listing archives, especially large and disordered collections. It is a powerful tool for editing and transforming data prior to import into Calm, Access or other systems. However, generic Excel training courses rarely focus on the techniques needed to work effectively with text.
About the workshops
Two one-day workshops are available:
- Essential techniques for listing archives using Excel
- Data improvement and data migration
Both workshops focus on techniques and concepts needed to work effectively with text. The emphasis is on practical skills, and the teaching material is based on genuine archive lists. The trainer, Gillian Sheldrick, is an experienced archivist and Excel enthusiast.
Since 2014, over 40 workshops have been held in locations from Dundee to Dublin, though most often in Oxford. Participants have commented: ‘Immediately usable skills’; ‘Eye opening how powerful Excel is’; ‘Tutor friendly, knowledgeable and encouraging’.
Workshop content: Essential techniques
- Working with text and formats: auto complete and auto fill; copy and ‘paste special’; find and replace; data formats (eg date, text and number data types)
- Working with structure: filtering; moving rows and columns; sorting rows
- Transforming text using functions and formulas
- Viewing and sharing worksheets: Using split panes; hiding columns and rows; protecting data
This workshop is aimed at those with a basic knowledge of Excel, not complete beginners.
Workshop content: Data improvement and data migration
Data Improvement theme:
- Techniques to improve data, including subdividing columns of data; removing duplicate records; find and replace using a look-up list
- Data improvement using functions and formulas, including relative and absolute cell references; conditional formulas; combining formulas
Data Migration theme:
- Data migration theory, including data compatibility; representing the archival hierarchy; planning a data migration project; data mapping
- Practical techniques including importing into/ exporting from Excel using character separated values; exporting from Excel to XML format
This workshop is aimed particularly at archivists who have previously taken part in an ‘Essential techniques’ workshop.
What is not covered?
The workshops do not cover using excel for graphs, charts or other graphics functionality; design and layout of spreadsheets or forms; statistical analysis.
For dates and locations, more information about the workshops, or to receive the occasional ‘Excel for Archivists’ newsletter, email Gillian Sheldrick
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