Brio vol.54, no.1 : “Supply and Demand: ‘more, more, more’ meets archives”

I’ve developed my (rather jazzy) talk for the International Association of Music Libraries’ 2016 conference into a proper published article.

IAML’s UK publication “Brio” got in touch (lovely people) and asked me to write it out since it was so well received.

Well! I’ve never really been published before and explained at the get-go that I could no longer be considered an academic writer. Those days are LONG gone. Apparently, my energy and delivery at the conference was something they wanted to shine through so I was given pretty much free rein.

I managed to restrain myself a little bit but overall I was very pleased with the outcome.

The article basically is a much deeper exploration into the case studies of my projects at the Royal Northern College of Music Archives. Those are outlined briefly in an earlier blog post.

If you manage to get your hands on a copy of the current Brio edition, do give my contribution a glance and let me know what you think.

 

Hidden Histories, Hidden Historians: history starts to take shape

If you’re curious about the exhibitions myself and Manchester Histories Festival are helping our 5 amazing community groups to deliver, have a look at my blog.

Community groups have been getting creative with their heritage and working towards delivering their own tailored exhibitions.

These are great examples of how digital exhibition spaces at the brilliant Archives+ offer opportunities for creativity to Manchester’s diverse communities.

Any questions, just drop us a line. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Hidden Histories, Hidden Historians: Why it matters (according to the archivist)

Hidden Histories, Hidden Historians is a really valuable project. Working with 5 community groups, myself and Manchester Histories Festival are helping them tell the histories that they want to share via Archives+ amazing digital exhibition spaces.

The wonderful groups include Manchester People First, Inspire Centre, FC United Sporting Memories, Oldham Youth Council and M13 Youth Project.

Read about why I think these kinds of projects are so important and useful in my blog post on the Manchester Histories Festival site.

 

Arts Archives as Catalysts for Change: DWAN collaborate

At the RNCM Archives, I’ve been poking at the idea of arts archives as arts resources. A lot of the collection at the College is either manuscript music, drawings, programmes or photographs. It’s a dream for outreach and engagement because so much of it created specifically to be engaged with. Music is for listening to, art is for looking at, etc..

Arts and politics, social change and protest have all been linked before and there are cultural and heritage institutions that recognise the potential for their sectors to make a difference in the here and now.

This hadn’t been the case so much for the RNCM Archives and I was itching to side-step into it, arms happily laden with politics and archives.

I’d been bringing artists and arty people down into the basement (not as Hammer Horror as I make it sound) for a good 18 months and they’d been loving the collections. Then, the opportunity to jump on the Digital Women’s Archive North Research and Development project was offered last year. It was timely and nicely experimental. Just what the archives needed.

Continue reading

Send me to the basement and don’t come looking.

Ever been to Contact Theatre on Oxford Road? It’s the kind of building that people call “iconic” and “landmark”. I  call it “mad fantasy”.

It is shaped like a post-apocalyptic castle; all sheet metal and lights with four large cooling towers in the shape of medieval turrets. Inside is a wash of purple and orange and no straight edges in sight. I adore the thing.

I also hadn’t been in, ever, until I was asked to create their archive for them.

Continue reading

Outreach and Engagement: Supply and Demand

A few months ago, God actually ages ago by now, I gave a talk to the International Association of Music Libraries (UK and Ireland branch) in Manchester.

I was asked to participate in their conference as the Royal Northern College of Music’s archivist, a fabulously fun job. The conference organisers fancied someone who could talk about outreach and engagement with collections, one of my priorities for the College’s collection. I said yes please and that was that. I was booked.

Continue reading

A side-door into ISAD(G)

Cataloguing is basically problem solving. You have  a jumble of stuff and you want to get it into an order that helps people understand what’s in it and how it all relates to each other.

To do this, it’s not just a case of referencing our international standard ISAD(G). Sometimes, the basic elements of ISAD(G) that you must include for every catalogue aren’t enough. However, nor are the other twenty-odd elements. I’ve recently found that it can make more sense to put your efforts into a sort of side-on approach in order to make it work.

Continue reading