Collections week and Christmas closure, 24 December 2018 – 12 January 2019

Early January tends to be a quiet time in the research room, so the team will again take the opportunity to focus on some larger collections which are difficult to work on whilst normal activities are going on in Heritage Quay.

Collections need sorting, repackaging and cataloguing to be accessible for your research, and often a large amount of space and time is needed for this.

Heritage Quay will be closed from 16:00 on Sunday 23rd December 2018 and will re-open at 09:30 on Saturday 12th January 2019 to enable the team to undertake this work, following the University’s Christmas and New Year closure.

During January this year the team finished off the Hopkinsons’ Ltd archive and made a start on sorting and surveying Sir Patrick Stewart’s archive, received during 2017. We also undertook a vital stock-check during a closed period in July 2018, to make sure that archives are available for use.

Trevor Wishart & Mick Banks’ Landscape – 2nd performance at Hebden Bridge Arts Festival, 1st July 2018

Local composer and researcher Julian Brooks attended the New Voices networking days at Heritage Quay in autumn 2017. As part of the days, the composers explored part of the British Music Collection and Julian was excited by the score for Trevor Wishart and Mick Banks’ ambitious site specific music composition “Landscape”, which was first staged in 1970.

This chance encounter with the score led to a recreation of the spectacular all day event around Hebden Bridge featuring fireworks, choirs on hillsides, flags, balloons, bells, improvising kids, cyclists playing their bikes and cones of black ice cream served from Royds ice cream vans playing Beethoven’s 7th Symphony.

Julian worked with Leeds-born Trevor himself, who is regarded, amongst many accolades, as the UK father of community music in this country. The event was supported by UK contemporary music charity Sound and Music, Arts Council England and Hebden Bridge Arts Festival.

Landscape is a series of somewhat surreal music-theatre situations which have been scored for pre-specified activities, outdoor locations, times and durations spanning twelve hours over one day.

Julian made use of Mick and Trevor’s guidance to incorporate workshops and performances from musicians, artists, local schools, community groups and small business introducing audiences to contemporary music that will appeal to new and experienced audiences alike.

Dr Julian Brooks said “I couldn’t believe it when I came across this amazing score in the archives of the BMC and I realised I had something very special and genuinely ground-breaking that needed to be performed. It brings out all that’s best about Hebden Bridge. Trevor Wishart is one of the most important composers of contemporary music in this country, his work is still hugely influential and this second-ever staging of Landscape will make audiences think, have fun and be entertained.”

Arts Festival Artistic Director Helen Meller said “For years people have been saying we should recreate Landscape as they remembered how spectacular it was from the first time round and then Julian came forward with the score and the skills to do it. It is a genuinely one off piece that is perfect for our festival as it is ambitious, challenging and playful. It’s been a real joy to see Trevor and Julian’s vision come together pulling in all sort of local people to take part, and I am looking to eating some locally made black ice cream from Royd’s Ice Cream as I watch the whole piece unfurl.”

Heritage Quay Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) project final evaluation report published

During 2012-2017 the University of Huddersfield archive service was transformed with just under £2million investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the University of Huddersfield. The project funded new premises in Heritage Quay, plus extensive engagement, participation and collections management programmes. The service has won a range of external awards during this period including the Times Higher Education Leadership & Management Award for libraries and the Guardian HE award for “buildings that inspire”, as well as obtaining Archive Service Accreditation.

The project evaluation report, which follows HLF’s latest guidance, has just been published at http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/34679/ and is now freely available to download.

Collections fortnight, January 2018

Early January tends to be a quiet time in the searchroom – are all you researchers recovering from the holiday period? So the team took the opportunity this year to focus on some larger collections which are difficult to work on whilst the searchroom is open and our normal activities are going on.

Collections need sorting, repackaging and cataloguing to be accessible for your research, and often a large amount of space and time is needed for this.

During January this year the team finished off the Hopkinsons’ Ltd archive and made a start on sorting and surveying Sir Patrick Stewart’s archive, received during 2017.

The British Music Collection is 50! #bmc50

On the 7th November 2017 the British Music Collection will celebrate its landmark 50th anniversary.

Custodians of the collection Sound and Music, the national charity for new music, are thrilled to launch 12 months of #BMC50 activity. This will range from live events to edit-a-thons, guest curators to composer showcases and much, much more….

“This amazing resource has been part of my career for half a century. I used it in the sixties to find out about new music and to meet other composers. In the seventies and eighties, as BMIC, it became a wonderful library and a place that hosted concerts as well. When I taught in London I often sent students there – the only place for discovering new scores. I have continued to use it, either online or in its superb archival spaces in Huddersfield.

I salute the 50th anniversary of the British Music Collection with delight.” – Professor Nicola LeFanu, composer

A year long celebration

To mark this significant date in British cultural history, Sound and Music will put composers in the British Music Collection at the heart of the celebrations, highlighting the heritage of extraordinary music created in the UK and the wider cultural impact of its creators, as well as drawing out more marginalised voices, including those of women, black and minority ethnic and disabled composers.

Throughout the #BMC50 year audiences will also be introduced to contemporary New Voices, a growing community of composers working with Sound and Music to create new music and sound across the country, whose work is featured in the British Music Collection as part of its commitment to the heritage of the future.

To find out more and support #BMC50, visit Sound and Music’s website.

Poulomi Desai, Artist in Residence – Leverhulme Trust

The University of Huddersfield’s Archives at Heritage Quay hosted a unique residency with multi-media artist and musician Poulomi Desai, funded through the Leverhulme Trust. For 80 days during the academic year 2016/7 Poulomi immersed herself in the heritage collections stored at Heritage Quay and in the life of the Service, its staff and users. As well as investigating the boxes which hold the archive materials and which are kept in the archive repository when not in use, she also engaged with people attending our events, the researchers pursuing their own interests in the archives, general visitors to Heritage Quay, and staff and volunteers who work here. She also made connections and visits with other artists and groups within the area, and delivered workshops including at European Researchers Night, a University-wide free event in September 2017.

Poulomi produced a series of artworks based on her encounters with the people, collections and broader themes in her residency. One set of these artworks is available at Heritage Quay, the other is in London at Poulomi’s arts space Usurp; the works will be exhibited and performed further.

The artworks include
“stories in saris” two silk sari artworks, “S360” and “SE148163” each 5770mm x 3700mm, and made to be worn. The designs are based on Poulomi’s research into three small collections held at Heritage Quay, and listening to idiosyncratic music works in the British Music Collection that reference Indian musicology. The silk was printed in the University’s textile printing department.

“Memento mori” – new photographic glass plates which combine contemporary portraits with motifs from old photographic glass plates, lantern slides and book covers from the main collections of art, rugby league and literature. These celebrate people born in Yorkshire who have broken conventions and challenged prejudices.

“Unmuted” – a film which contrasts the location of Heritage Quay and its collections with the local landscape of the Yorkshire moors.

Performance pieces – two pieces, one for the Archives Assistants in Heritage Quay and the other for anyone handling “Made in Huddersfield” (see below). Both pieces enact rituals of opening, uncovering and displaying the contents of the box – the artworks created during the residency.

“Made in Huddersfield” – a version of the standard archive storage box created in stainless steel and produced by local firm Morley Brothers. These boxes, made of archival quality acid-free cardboard with non-corroding brass fastenings, are used throughout the repositories in Heritage Quay for the preservation and easy handling of the collections. The stainless steel, riveted, version contains and preserves Poulomi’s artworks created through the residency (listed above), and also is central to one of the performance pieces.

Poulomi describes her time in Heritage Quay as providing “unexpected and surprising opportunities” artistically. For the team of staff and volunteers at Heritage Quay, as well as our researchers (both from the University and not) and visitors, Poulomi’s responses to the collections give insights in the past but also reflect on how our management and research processes determine the future.

For more information on the residency, please see www.usurp.org.uk/project/leverhulme.

Our thanks to the Leverhulme Trust for their generous support of the residency.

All images copyright Poulomi Desai

Collections closure week, Monday 26th- Friday 30th June 2017

Please note that Heritage Quay will be closed from Monday 26th to Friday 30th June 2017 inclusive.
This is so that the team can carry out work on some of our collections which we are unable to do whilst we are open to the public. We have chosen this time of year as visitor numbers over the last 2 years have been comparatively low during June.
We plan to spend the week working on the extensive industrial archive of Hopkinsons Limited, the Huddersfield-based isolation and control valve manufacturer, and will post a blog charting our progress during the week: watch this space!
The Hopkinsons archive is one of the largest in our holdings, comprising around 420 boxes plus some oversize material including valves and display items.

This closure means that the research room will not be open on Monday 26th or Tuesday 27th June, and the exhibition space will be closed Monday – Friday inclusive.
Heritage Quay will be open as usual from Saturday 1st July when we will be hosting our History Festival.

Consultancy opportunity: Activity Planning consultant

The University of Huddersfield and West Yorkshire Archive Service wish to invite suitably qualified and experienced consultants to submit their proposals for the preparation of an Activity Plan during the development phase of their project West Yorkshire Archives Kirklees @ Heritage Quay.

The Plan will be a key strategic planning document for the project partners and will be used in support of applications for external funding, including a £1.9m Round 2 Heritage Grants application to be submitted in December 2017. Accordingly, the Activity Plan is to be prepared in accordance with the Heritage Lottery Fund’s current Activity Planning guidance.

Consultants wishing to submit a proposal must obtain the full consultancy brief and supporting documents from Sarah Wickham, Project Director, via s[dot]wickham@hud.ac.uk (replace the [dot])

Proposals should be submitted by email ONLY to reach Sarah Wickham by noon on Thursday 9th May 2017 at the latest.