Meet George, our new Assistant Archivist

25 March 2024

The EAC has a new Assistant Archivist! Meet George, who joined our team as a volunteer four years ago and has stepped into the new role as of this month.

How did you get your start at the Expatriate Archive Centre and how long have you been working there?
I came across the EAC when searching around for volunteering opportunities in early 2020, I found the focus of the archive very interesting. After applying, I began working on a new digital archiving project. The fact that it was entirely digital was fortunate because it meant that I was able to continue some of the work from home while the archive was closed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Once the archive opened up again, I was able to work on various projects which involved processing physical archival material, something that I enjoyed learning about a lot. After a few more years of volunteering at the EAC, I applied for the position of Assistant Archivist when it became available and was fortunate enough to be accepted into the team.

What originally got you interested in your current field of work?
Volunteering at the EAC was my first experience in the field of archiving. I was particularly interested in the EAC because of its focus on expatriation, a subject that was very relevant to my own life. No matter what project I found myself working on at the archive, I was always fascinated by the challenges faced by the expatriates that I was reading about and how they tackled them. Despite being ordinary people, the letters and other artefacts that they have left for us make for extraordinary reading, and I am constantly reminded, through my work, of the importance of preserving their stories for the future.

What do you enjoy the most about living in the Netherlands?
I hope it isn’t too cliche of an answer, but I really enjoy the fact that cycling solves the vast majority of my transportation needs. I have always found cycling around the city convenient and a lot of fun because of the excellent infrastructure for it. There isn’t any other country I would rather cycle in!

What is the most interesting thing you’ve seen outside of your office window?
Despite the fact that the archive is in a reasonably large city, I’m always glad to see that we get plenty of wildlife visiting our little garden. Plenty of birds of all kinds, squirrels and the occasional neighbourhood cat. Now that Spring has sprung again, I’m looking forward to seeing more of them.

Have you ever been an expatriate yourself? Tell us your expatriate life story.
We moved to the Netherlands as a family when I was a child, in what was only ever meant to be a temporary relocation because of my parents’ work. Despite the initial plan to only remain here for 1 or 2 years, we ended up staying for all of my school years. I returned to the UK after secondary school to go to university. Despite studying less than 25 kilometres from where I was born, it was nonetheless a strange experience to have to re-adjust to a country that I had not lived in for many years. After university in the UK, I decided to come back to the Netherlands for my master’s degree and I have been here ever since!