Review of 2018

What a year it’s been! Here’s a summary of some of the highlights…


We had some wonderful new collections including Leicester Riders Basketball Club, Leicester Area National Union of Mineworkers, the papers of David Batchelor, community and youth work lecturer, and fabric samples from the Stibbe company.



We are so fortunate in Special Collections to work with wonderful student volunteers and interns. In February Graduate Champion Gursharan did a large amount of cataloguing, improving researcher access to our collections!


In March we had a jolly knees-up when we launched our partnership with the Ski Club of Great Britain. We’re delighted to be looking after their amazing collection of skiing archives and artefacts!


In April we were kept busy with the daily hashtags of #Archive30


Also, we were very proud when our student volunteer Molly was published in ARA Magazine discussing the project she worked on with us!


In May we were pleased to feature a guest post from student Alex Marlow discussing his work on the Ski Club archives. Our partnership with the Business Management in Sport MSc was one of the first times archival work has been so deeply embedded in a module, and we hope it will be a model that is copied by other courses!


In June our archivist was kept busy participating in filming for a documentary about screenwriter Andrew Davies. As well as being part of stock footage in the archive (pushing trolleys around and rolling stacks), she was filmed discussing the collection with Andrew himself which was a great chance to ask him to clear up some questions we had about parts of the collection! The documentary will be aired on BBC4 on December 30 2018, see for more information.



We’re always busy in the summer break with our annual stocktaking! This year we tackled our vast National Art Slide Library and finally achieved an overall list of the contents of this wonderful collection.

Also in July the fabulous Natalie Hayton secured a permanent post as Assistant Archivist in the team!


In August archivist Katharine was privileged to attend the Archives and Records Association conference in Glasgow – and gave a paper entitled: “I didn’t know you were here! Increasing the visibility of a university archive among staff and students”. This blog was of course featured!


In September, to coincide with the new academic year, we piloted new opening hours. We’re now closed on Mondays to allow us to get behind the scenes work done. We’ve also added Saturday opening on the first Saturday of the month, which has already been popular with those whose lives mean weekday visits are impossible to arrange!


In October our archivist was off to another conference, this time in the beautiful town of Salamanca in Spain! She presented a paper at the International Council for Archives University Archives Group conference, this time talking about establishing the identity of a new archive in a new university! It was a wonderful experience to meet colleagues from all over the world and learn how similar our archival challenges are.


November is always super-busy in Special Collections. As well as the usual round of assisting researchers, answering enquiries and teaching our students about the collections, it’s also Explore Your Archive week, an annual national celebration of all things archive. We contributed to the daily hashtags through our blog and our Twitter feed, and also had a travelling exhibition relating to the First World War which moved around campus throughout the week.

November also saw us launch our Appeal for Archives with City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby:


This month we have launched our new catalogues on their very own website! We’ve moved to a new system, Epexio by Metadatis.

We also had some wonderful news from the Wellcome Trust regarding funding… but more on that next year!

We’d like to thank all our supporters, researchers, collaborators and well-wishers for their interest in 2018 and wish you all the best for 2019!

Katharine, Natalie and David


About Katharine Short

When I was 13 every careers questionnaire I did at school suggested I become an archivist. In rebellion I studied History of Art at Cambridge and the Courtauld Institute before giving in to the inevitable and undertaking a qualification in Archives Administration at Aberystwyth University. I worked at King’s College London Archives and the London Metropolitan Archives before becoming the Archivist here at DMU in January 2013. My role is hugely varied: answering enquiries and assisting researchers, sorting, cataloguing, cleaning and packaging archival material, managing our environmentally controlled storage areas, giving seminars, talks and tours, researching aspects of University history, liaising with potential donors and advocating for the importance of archives within the organisation. I am one of those incredibly fortunate people who can say ‘I love my job’ and really mean it.
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