Goodbye and Good Luck

Daniella and Marzuqa Daniella and Marzuqa open their leaving presents at a ‘goodbye’ lunch in Wagamamas

At the end of the summer we said ‘goodbye’ to two much-loved members of the project team. Marzuqa Iffat came to the end of her graduate internship and Daniella Carrington completed her post-graduate studies. Thanks to both of them for all their invaluable contributions; to Marzuqa, for the many hours that you spent on the telephone and computer, contacting organisations and individuals for the audit, then pouring over the resulting data; and to Daniella for establishing and maintaining this blog and for taking so many beautiful photographs along the way. Love and best wishes for the future.

The Results Are In

audit_summary1

We are finally ready to share the results of our audit, which summarises BAME related heritage projects and collections across Greater Manchester. Visit ‘Our Research’ page to access all of the background information for phase one.

We have used the audit results  to develop an activity plan for phase two of the ‘Coming in from the Cold’ project. An application was submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund at the beginning of September, with a decision on funding expected by December 2017.

In the meantime, many thanks to all of the project team for their input and to all of those who assisted in research for the audit.

sharing learning

The Archive and Records Association (ARA) conference is currently underway at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester. Yesterday my colleague Hannah Niblett and I were invited to give a paper about our experiences of generating and archiving BAME-related heritage project work. It was our first chance to share findings from the CIFTC audit, as well as reflect on the successes and challenges of work on the erstwhile Legacy of Ahmed project. Some of the points we were able to make appeared to resonate with the audience, comprised of 60 professionals from the archive and local studies sector. Questions, claps and nods of agreement centred on discussions around the way that oral histories are collected and valued and the widespread disposal of much project-related material.

araconference
Hannah Niblett and Jennie Vickers attended the ARA conference with their colleague Carly Morel

Busy at it

You may have noticed that things have gone quiet on the project over the last few weeks. That’s because we’ve been busy analysing all of the data from our research, in order to report on our findings for the official audit report. Unfortunately the deadline for submitting findings to the HLF coincides with our funding application for Phase 2 of the project. So it’s been a hectic few weeks! However, we’re almost there and look forward to being able to share information with you shortly. Please stay tuned…

Ta da!

On Thursday 27th July we showcased the work of 9 groups as part of our annual community history sharing event. Each group is in the process of delivering or completing a Heritage Lottery Funded project, with a BAME focus. Representatives (including group leaders, volunteers and academics) shared their experiences with the wider public via stalls, talks and a group discussion. Feedback from participants has been extremely positive and will contribute to research for the next stage of the ‘Coming in from the Cold’ project. Thanks to everyone who contributed to make this such an enjoyable and rewarding event.

I met a lot of people and have seen there is a real passion for collecting and sharing stories, regardless of background.

Revealing histories

We’re discovering inspiring BME-related projects every day, during our research. Today I spoke with Maili Lavin from Mosscare who commissioned a film to mark the organisation’s 50th anniversary.  In a range of interviews for the project ‘Looking Back at Moss Side’, many local people shared their experiences of living in a diverse and tight-knit community.  Click here to view the film for yourself.

Let me share a secret…

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Manchester’s Portico Library is a glorious hidden gem, packed to the rafters with historic books on art, history, natural history, travel, biography and literature. Yesterday, the very friendly staff invited Marzuqa and I on a tour, to understand more about their work and collections. We entered via a discrete entrance off the busy thoroughfare of Mosley Street and ascended the narrow staircase. At the top, a wonderfully atmospheric and welcoming space awaited, shelves groaning with intriguing publications under the headings ‘Polite’ and ‘Impolite’ Literature, light streaming through a domed glass ceiling. Continue reading “Let me share a secret…”

Making Memories Matter

Coming in from the Cold is about surveying what has happened in terms of recent BME projects and developing a strategy to support further, more targeted work.  In order to help future groups to deliver successful oral history projects, I thought I should refresh my knowledge by attending this year’s Oral History Spring School at the Institute for Historical Research in London. The course was led by leading figures in the field and aimed at those with prior knowledge and experience. Continue reading “Making Memories Matter”