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…
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.