12 Events of Christmas, an HQ redux!

If you’re a regular blog reader, you may remember from this time last year, our ’12 days of Christmas’ themed ‘Developments in the Archive’ post, reviewing the year that we moved into our new facilities at Heritage Quay. This year, as our programme of events has escalated, I thought it might be nice to review 12 important/exciting events that have happened in Heritage Quay this year. If you missed out, don’t worry, check the Events Calendar and make 2016 the year you join us to learn more about our collections!

12. Twelve meetings have taken place this year for some of hosted societies, like the Local History Society and the Local Archaeology Societies. They have hosted talks on a wide variety of subjects, from the First World War to the female Pharaohs of Egypt.

11. Eleven students from a local school joined us in November for a national Kids in Museums Takeover day. Spending a Friday with the Archivists and Engagement staff, students learnt basic conservation techniques and how to protect documents. They learnt about using digitisation as a method of preservation and providing access, carried out some market research for us, all the while reporting on their day across social media on their activities!

group photojazzhands

10. Many more than ten university students and classes have joined us in Heritage Quay since the beginning of term to hear one of our Introduction to Archives skills sessions! These started off by appealing to students in subjects like History where we have natural connections, but over the past few years we have broadened this to appeal to Textiles, Music, English and Computing students! There’s something for everyone in archives!

9. From fiction to fact, and the 1980s miners strike to 1940s war torn Europe, Heritage Quay has hosted a number of film nights throughout the year, either related to our own collections, as December’s ‘Dangerous Moonlight’ featured a track from our own British Music Collection, to Pride, hosted by the university’s Unison reps, to It’s a Wonderful Life, part of a series of films shown by the University’s Health and Wellbeing team.

8. We’ve been challenging students across the university to use the space in Heritage Quay in different and non-traditional ways and they certainly haven’t disappointed! In March, Fashion students staged a vintage fashion show, ‘with a twist’, that being all the seating was arranged in a spiral instead of a traditional catwalk. Sound design and music students came in to demonstrate their new music projects through our sound system in December, and we hope for new and exciting innovations in this area next year!

7. This year, we again joined in with the nationwide campaign to ‘Explore Your Archive’. Last year this took the form of a display of one of our political collections in the library, this year, we decided to spread the word about good archival handling and care skills by running a course for interested amateur archivists to learn collections care, cataloguing and promotion skills. Soon we’ll be running a course on palaeography (studying old handwriting), so get in on it while you can!

6. Over the past year, our Archivists have gone out to many local and national organisations giving six talks on our collections and the work we’ve been doing in Heritage Quay. These include a presentation on the history of Rugby League to the British Records Association, using the University collection for genealogy at Huddersfield Family History Fair, and Pecha Kucha talks on the engagement work going on as part of the HLF project.

5. We were joined by composers of the future, during the HCMF’s Under 5’s event ‘Music at Play: Graphic Scores for Under 5s.’ Toddlers (and their parents) explored the group space, and the textures, objects and sounds provided in order to inspire them to create a giant hands-on graphical score!

4. For four weeks, Rugby League history fans joined us and some eminent RL historians for a course exploring the Roots of Rugby League and birth of the game. This involved studying some of the objects from our extensive Rugby League and Supporter collections.

RL Heritage Forum 25-04-15-6 compressed

3. This year we’ve run three Highlights exhibitions in our exhibition space. At the beginning of the year our Rugby League exhibition was still in situ. In April we installed an exhibition looking at important buildings in the fabric of Huddersfield landscape. The Local History, Civic and Archaeology societies and University history department all contributed their ideas and choices for streets and buildings important to their idea of the development of the town. This Autumn we welcome an exhibition on contemporary music, co-curated by many of our depositors, and featuring cases on dance band, brass band and 20th century music.

2. For this year’s Heritage Open Days, we ran two Lego serious play activities, once again exploring some of the architecture featured in our Huddersfield Gems exhibition. Youngsters could rebuild local landmarks, like the Lindley Clock Tower, from Lego, and design and create their own architectural landmarks.

1. Mikron Theatre Company visited us for the second year running this October, this time bringing the sweet smell of fish and chips for a performance of their sell-out show, One of Each! Rival fryers vied for the coveted Golden Fish Fork Award and the audience participated in voting for Cod over Haddock as the favourite dish of the day!

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