Archive drifting

The weekend of the 9-10 September 2017 saw the return of the 4th World Congress of Psychogeography to Heritage Quay. As well as being a lot of fun, more importantly it was the last event to take place as part of our Heritage Lottery-funded Heritage Quay engagement project. As I reflected on the past three years of engagement work I realised that the Congress, and the session I ran at it this year (Archive Dérive), was a microcosm for the way that we’ve tried to work at HQ.

So, how does me running a session called Archive Derive at the 4th Congress of Psychogeography sum us up?

0.5) What is Psychogeography?
Psychogeography has a few definitions, which include “the study of the influence of geographical environment on the mind or on behaviour” or “the geographical environment of a particular location, typically a city, considered with regard to its influence on the mind or on behaviour.” For the lay person, it’s an approach to the world around us that, using the tools of psychology, sociology, art, philosophy etc, makes us look at the familiar through new eyes.

1) Local connections and collaboration
The idea for the Congress came from another event we ran back in 2016 and was the result of something that Huddersfield is great for – connections and contacts. In January 2016 we ran a historic Maps Day and as part of the planning I was put in touch with some local psychogeographers. Although what they did didn’t fit with the planned day we decided it was worth doing something together. This small group of four became the committee for the Congress. The HQ project has been really interested in creating communities of interest around our collections, particularly regarding local history, music and rugby league and this seemed like another community we could support.

2) The Congress as an alternative Heritage Open Days event
Throughout the HQ project, we have tried to be as experimental and interesting as possible (!) and the Congress fits that bill. HODs is about opening up spaces and telling stories about the historical built environment, offering free experiences you can’t get at any other time. What do you do when you already offer free entry and behind the scenes tours? My solution was to take the same parameters but approach them in a very different way – through psychogeography.

3) The Archive Dérive
I am fascinated by the connections between collections and created a session which explored this idea, working with psychogeographical ideas. A Dérive is a alternative method for travelling through a space, often with random or arbitrary rules. Of course, we couldn’t let the public roam around the archives so I did a derive of my own, plotting a map of places I’ve lived onto a plan of the main strongroom.


I then selected objects based on those points – following my instincts to select things. Because I was doing the workshop twice I moved the results slightly to end up with two different selections. This is what I ended up with:

On the Saturday of the Congress I asked two groups of psychogeographers to assemble in the searchroom. Each group was given a box of collections and asked to use them to create a (fictional psychogeographer’s) life story. We worked together to interrogate the archival objects and documents and used them to populate a timeline. It was a lot of fun! I encouraged the groups to be as creative, silly and imaginative as possible and they made some very entertaining connections. Who knew you could link a dating service with snails and Tibetan monks?

These were the results:

David Bollinger

Fenella Brandenberg

The workshops were lots of fun, with mystical and dramatic ideas added together to create some tall tales. At the same time, previously unconnected collections were brought together and linked, by non-specialists, into something greater than the sum of their parts. Which when I think of it is what we always want to do.

Heritage Quay Teaching Resources

Heritage Quay has developed six educational films for teachers of KS1-3 students. They are based on our amazing collections and provide opportunities to explore history, the arts and music in inspiring ways. You can access the films on youtube, and download the free teachers packs using the links below. To find out more about what else we offer for schools please visit our Learn page

SPORT
This film serves as an introduction to the sport collections at Heritage Quay and highlights the history of Rugby League and the sport’s close links with the town of Huddersfield. The film and the accompanying education pack provide a focus for a local history study as set out in the KS2 national curriculum.

Education Pack 1 SportFINAL

THE ARTS
The Arts scene in Huddersfield is a major area of strength in the archives. This film gives an introduction to the development of British theatre and highlights items from the Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield Operatic and Dramatic Society, and Mikron Theatre collections.

Education Pack 2 The Arts FINAL

EDUCATION
This film gives an introduction to the history of the University of Huddersfield, highlighting the role of Frederick Schwann and the Ramsden family in its history. It provides a focus for KS2 local history study. Items shown in the film include commemorative china which marked the opening of the Ramsden building, and the bell which called students to their classes.

Education Pack 3.EducationFINAL

MUSIC
This film highlights the rich variety contained within the music collections at Heritage Quay. From brass bands to dance bands, contemporary music to classical, this is an accessible introduction to a range of musical genres for those studying music at primary level.

Education Pack Music 4FINAL

INDUSTRY
The film gives an overview of Huddersfield’s development as a textile town, highlighting the links between textiles and manufacturing, and focusing on local engineers Hopkinsons, whose archive is one of the largest and most complete at Heritage Quay. The film is a valuable starting point for a KS2 local history study, as well as supporting the KS3 themes of industry, empire and technological change. The Fabrics of India sample books shown in the film may inspire and interest textile students.

Education Pack 5. Industry FINAL

POLITICS
This film introduces the collections of three significant figures which are prominent in the archives – Robert Blatchford, Victor Grayson and John Henry Whitley. The film gives a brief outline of their achievements in bringing about social and industrial improvements for working people and invites the viewer to consider their legacies. The film is intended for a primary audience, however it provides a good starting point for KS3 students studying British politics between 1860 and 1939.

Education Pack Politics 6 FINAL

Contemporary Repertoire Project

Heritage Quay looking for singing groups – do you want to learn something new?

Information about the project

Here at Heritage Quay we are always excited when we get the chance to delve into the British Music Collection and the same applies for the researchers who use it too (check out https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/u/0/partner/sound-and-music”>googleculturalinstitute/soundandmusic to see what we mean)

There are around 8,000 choral pieces in the BMC and we decided we wanted to hear some. So we are on the hunt for singing groups from Kirklees and Calderdale (or who are happy to travel) who want to expand their repetoire (with our help)

If you or your singing group is interested email us at hqbookings@hud.ac.uk or call on 01484 473168 by the end of August to find out more

Celebrating the Indomitables

Indomitables-long-shotweb

Sometimes working in Archives can feel a bit like being a detective and the research and investigations don’t end in the strongroom. We’re in the midst of developing content for our summer and autumn events and I’m working on one event in particular at the moment: Celebrating the Indomitables.

The rightly celebrated Great Britain touring side of 1946 remains the most successful to ever go down under and to celebrate the 70th anniversary of their achievements we have an event on the 2nd July where we are going to tell the story of the trip from beginning to end.

The first place to start was our own archives which are particularly rich in this area – the RFL kept some fascinating documents and there are photographs and programmes to do alongside. We also have a couple of player collections from Byrn Knowelden and Dai Jenkins which have a more personal dimension. The Dai Jenkins archive is particularly rich as he donated his trunk and all its contents to the RFL. Our volunteers have been going through all these great collections to see what stories we can tell but it’s not enough! We are also working with Simon Foster, son of tour star Trevor who organised a reunion event a few years ago at the George – he has already been in touch with some of his many contacts.

We have two special aims that are above our usual rugby league events here – we are attempting to invite the families of all the players on the tour, and to track down the shirts that were worn by the players – there are 26 in total.

RFL.AV.1.5.SHIRT4
This is the one that belonged to Dai Jenkins – you can see the mud is still on it!

We’re going through local and national press, and contacts at clubs across the North and we are interested in speaking to anyone with a connection to the tour, particularly if they have stories of a family member, if they own any memorabilia or even if they served on the HMS Indomitable.

The archive would be really pleased to hear from anyone holding any items relating to the tour or with a connection to: Martin Ryan, Joe Jones, Eric Batten, Jimmy Lewthwaite, Ted Ward, Jack Kitching, Arthur Bassett, Willie Horne, Willie Davies, Tommy McCue, Fred Hughes, Ken Gee or George Curran.

To get in touch please contact me at d.smith@hud.ac.uk

Dave

What’s On launched!

Today sees the launch of Heritage Quay’s first brochure of events and activities, to cover the period September 2015 – March 2016.

Heritage Quay Brochure September 2015 – March 2016 FINAL

The programme responds to different areas of our collections and there is something for (almost) everyone in there although there is a particular focus on rugby league, music and local history.

To pick out a few highlights, the Rugby League History Day in October will be brilliant – the line up of ex-players, fans and historians is looking stellar (more information to come closer to the time) and it’ll all be for free. For those wanting more detail on the history of the game, renowned historian Tony Collins will be here to run a Roots of Rugby League course over four nights, with a special focus on the Kirklees and Calderdale areas. This is apt because of rugby league’s big 120th birthday this year.

Also make sure to book for our showing of Dangerous Moonlight. Although not a wartime ‘classic’ the lush and emotional music of the Warsaw Concerto, composed specially for the film, made it incredibly popular and should get you in mood for dancing afterwards. They’ll be a bar on hand and live music to make the evening go with a swing. Those proto-band leaders amongst you can get more involved with our Conducting for Beginners workshop.

Finally, we’re kicking the season off with a special event in association with the Huddersfield and District Archaelogy Society who’ll be letting people get hands on what they’ve dug up near the buried Roman Fort at Slack. And we finish the brochure period with more history with our Hopkinsons Day, where we’ll be getting out a selection of things from the collection to jog some memories and get people interested in what we’re doing with them over the following months (you’ll have to wait until the next What’s on for the details)

The last thing I’ll mention is The Listening Room, our special group (it’s like a reading club) for music fans. We’ll be serving up a mix of tunes from our collections every month and then dicussing them to pieces over tea and cake. If you fancy joining the conversation visit our web page or join the Facebook group or of course just come along.

For more information about all the events and activities and links for booking tickets head to our website here or our Facebook page

Huddersfield Gems

Huddersfield Gems is a unique collaboration between Heritage Quay and groups from across the district. The curators are all members of the Local History Programming Group who meet here three times a year to work on creating events and activities using the University archive collections.

 

The exhibition aims to hint at the hidden or interesting stories of buildings (or car parks!) which are part of the everyday fabric of the town. There are plans, postcards and physical objects which all help us to delve a little deeper into this world. If you want to know even more about what you see here, the exhibition is continued online at www.heritagequay.org/huddersfieldgems

Maybe the place you live in or work at also has a hidden past? There are many other structures in Huddersfield which are amazing too. Why not tell us your favourite on Twitter or Instagram using #huddersfieldgems?

Huddersfield Gems to launch next week

Next week sees a changeover in our exhibition from Rugby League to local history with ‘Huddersfield Gems’.

Our Local History Programming Group have been working away for the past couple of months each focusing on a favourite building. We’ll going to be installing the objects, documents and text starting Monday so watch this space for an update and some sneeky peeks at the buildings we’ve chosen.

As the exhibition is in the main part of Heritage Quay it will be free to come and see whenever we’re open and there will also be events relating to the buildings taking place over the next few months, starting with our Brick-by-Brick lego-based family day on the 25th July

 

1st Rugby League Heritage Forum

Last Saturday saw the first rugby league Heritage Forum take place at Heritage Quay.

With such Entrance signextensive collections about the history of the game, the archive is of course the natural place for rugby league enthusiasts to get together, share what they’ve been up to and do some good networking. So we thought we’d organise something to do just that.

Representatives of clubs or heritage projects came from across the country to explore Heritage Quay, meet each other and enjoy a full day of talks, chat and biscuits. We welcomed people from Huddersfield, Warrington and even Featherstone.

The day kicked off with a lecture from noted historian Tony Collins. Using archive footage from the first half of the 20th century, Tony unpicked the evolution of the game from 1895 onwards, in particular focusing on the ways in which try scoring and fast play was encouraged through rule changes. A lot of the footage he used is available online including this footage shot by Mitchell and Kenyon

The morning was rounded off with a talk from Stephen from the Swinton Lions Tales group. This excellent project seemed to interest and inspire everyone and is well worth checking out. The final talk of the day was from the Leeds Rugby Foundation,  who described the work they’ve been doing connecting the club and community with their rugby league heritage before sharing some great old photos which had everyone in the room taking a trip down memory lane.

RL Heritage Forum 25-04-15-17 compressed

One of the most popular parts of the day took place in our searchroom and was great for the archive! Our Collections Access Officer Rob had prepared a table of photos from the collection that we needed help identifying. Throughout the day the attendees came along to pick out players, teams, grounds and even officials – information that we will be able to add to our archive to help researchers of the future. From what we could see doing it was addictive so expect us to run something else like this in the future! We reckon we got through over 200 pictures which was a-mazing

There were also some gems from the collection on display to highlight how Heritage Quay can help researchers with useful and diverse sources.

 

Overall it was a great day and I’m already looking forward to next year!

Dave