what is an archive?

We currently have two postgraduate students from the Institute for Cultural Practices (ICP) at the University of Manchester on a placement with us.  They have been investigating the value of historic documents and how to encourage further deposits from local BAME communities as part of the CIFTC project. Today Naomi Weaver and Yang Li were busy interviewing our long-time friend and trustee, Nigel de Noronha in various locations around Central Library as part of a project to demystify the archive. Nigel was once a member of the Asian Youth Movement (AYM) and also contributed to the Macdonald Inquiry, so features prominently in a number of records we hold. He is now a Teaching Fellow in Sociology at the University of Warwick.

During his interview, Nigel reflected on both the experience of encountering representations of himself as a young activist and on the value of being able to examine such collections as an academic researcher.

By creating a short film with a range of contributors, Naomi and Yang hope to address basic questions about what’s in our collection, how it ended up here and to whom it might be of interest in future years. Watch this space for the final edit, which we hope to share with you soon…

 

 

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”