Drew Ellery our digital officer recently attended the Heritage Soapbox event at Hoxton Hall, London. The event, planned by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s youth advisory group welcomed young people to share and celebrate heritage, as well as discuss how the sector can support them better. The main themes of the event were participation, training and early career development.
Drew presented a talk to around 60 delegates on the importance of paid opportunities into the heritage sector, especially for young people coming from diverse backgrounds. Drew also spoke about the impact of seeing collections that were representative of his identity at Archives+, driving his passion to work within the archive sector. This was a great opportunity for him to talk about his current role as the digital officer of ‘Coming in from the Cold’, encouraging better representation of BAME communities within archive collections.
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…
We are delighted to announce that Phase Two of our project ‘Coming in from the Cold’ is now up and running. Over the next three years members of the CIFTC project team will support the development and delivery of BAME-focused heritage projects across Greater Manchester, with the aim of building a more comprehensive and representative archive collection. Please download our press release for further information.
If you are a community group thinking of undertaking or in the process of delivering a heritage project, please do get in touch. There are lots of ways we might be able to help you.
Yesterday Collections Access Officer Hannah Niblett and I presented a paper to around 60 delegates from the National Archives conference at The Lowry in Salford. Our paper was called Coming in From the Cold: Narrowing the Gap Between Community Engagement and Collection Development. In it we presented findings from the research phase of this project, together with ideas for a model of working based on our own experience of facilitating and archiving community history projects. Our main concern – and our aim for Phase Two going forward (should we receive the necessary grant funding) – is to address the key issue, that funding for BAME-related community-led heritage projects is increasing but their visibility is not. The content seemed well received by the audience who helped us to ponder issues of authorship, ownership and access during the ensuing discussion.
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.