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
#Archive30 day 7: a pile of boxes sums up my job – the physical and intellectual management of them and their contents, and then ensuring that those contents get into the hands of the researchers who need them pic.twitter.com/SZwh398GVb
— Katharine Short (@KatharineES) April 7, 2018
Also, we were very proud when our student volunteer Molly was published in ARA Magazine discussing the project she worked on with us!
Our fab volunteer and @PHRC_DeMontfort MA student, Molly, rightfully showing off her article on the National Art Slide Library, published in ARC magazine @ARAFSPG @LibraryDMU pic.twitter.com/8x2MRFBwJD
— Archives&RareBooks (@DMUSpecialColls) April 10, 2018
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!
We've got a new guest post on our blog, a history of the Ski Club of Great Britain @TheSkiClub in the years 1933-34 by @LCBS_SportMgmt student Alex Marlow: https://t.co/TmIjULwjzi pic.twitter.com/3Cwiwy4ZkY
— Archives&RareBooks (@DMUSpecialColls) May 25, 2018
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 https://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/news/2018/december/dmu-academics-to-feature-in-bbc-documentary.aspx 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!
So pleased to be able to announce that after 2 years making herself indispensable, my lovely work wife, folklorist, feminist, passionate advocate for access and engagement and excellent teacher @natalieahayton has become a permanent member of @DMUSpecialColls 🎉🎉🎉🎉 https://t.co/2uaBzq355r
— Katharine Short (@KatharineES) August 1, 2018
Katharine Short of DMU on increasing the visibility of a university archive among staff and students. Pertinent to us. Drop in sessions, using our collection in teaching and liasing with departments have all helped. pic.twitter.com/cerkqcuF7I
— UCL Records (@UCLRecords) August 30, 2018
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!
— Archives&RareBooks (@DMUSpecialColls) September 2, 2018
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.
— Archives&RareBooks (@DMUSpecialColls) November 20, 2018
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: https://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/news/2018/november/leicesters-city-mayor-helps-launch-our-archives-appeal.aspx
As a former student of the Leicester College of Education (now part of @dmuleicester), I'm pleased to be contributing to their campaign for a major exhibition celebrating 150th anniversary of former Leicester School of Art. #Leicester #heritage #visitleiecester #DMU pic.twitter.com/tHNTUT9ISs
— Leicester City Mayor (@CityMayorLeic) November 19, 2018
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