For the last two weeks we’ve welcomed two students from nearby Holmfirth High School into Heritage Quay for their work experience placements. Here’s what they’ve had to say about becoming archivists for a couple of weeks, and you can see them hard at work in the photo below!
I decided to come to Heritage Quay to do my work experience, because of my love of history and my fascination with local history and knowing about our ancestors. Whilst I’ve been on this placement I’ve done some intriguing and horizon broadening activities. One day I logged volumes of books onto the online system giving me a glimpse into the inner workings of the archive catalogue, I’ve also been listening to music and researching it for upcoming listening clubs.
This experience made me think hard about my options after school and education, and completely opened my eyes to many different job opportunities that I had never before thought of. This has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience and would gladly come again if another chance arises!
I choose to do work experience at Heritage Quay because of my interest in history and archives. While there I helped list dissertations and photography into the online database, moved books from shelf to shelf and researched various items and collections from the archives. I particularly enjoyed working on the Frobisher collection as it was extremely interesting to see a large collection of records from a single family’s history.
Although I am still uncertain about to do after school my work experience here has taught me many useful skills and shown a lot about the workings of the archives so I am very happy to have done my work experience here.
You can check out Tom and Joe’s contributions to the archive catalogue at the following links:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This collection was deposited at the University of Huddersfield in 2005 and forms part of the Non-conformist collections.
Wesleyan and Methodist heritage is an integral part of the history of countries worldwide The Society has regional Societies one of which is Yorkshire which started in 1962.
Methodism is a Christian denomination which began in mid-eighteenth Century in Britain by John Wesley although the sect originated in Germany. The history of Methodism can be found here. The site explains how the different sects were combined to form the United Methodist Church:
In the twentieth century most of the different Methodist denominations united together. The New Connexion, Bible Christians and United Methodist Free Churches (another breakaway following a major controversy in the Wesleyan church from 1849) came together in 1907, forming the United Methodist Church. That in turn joined with the Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists in 1932.
The Wesley Historical Society website states the aims of the society – which were set down at its formation in 1893 – were to promote:
1. The study of the history and literature of early Methodism.
2. Research into the Wesley family.
3. Investigation into the beginnings and development of Methodism.
And afterwards this scope widened to include:-
1. The history of all sections of The British Methodist Church that United in 1932.
2. Other Wesleyan and Methodist denominations.
This is a wide ranging, nationally important resource comprising over 13,000 books and archive items collected by the Yorkshire branch of the Wesley Historical Society. Items include Methodist Magazines, Conference Reports, Class Tickets, Biographies of prominent and interesting members of the Methodist Church and various documents relating to chapel events. Histories of many of the chapels are included although no registers are held in this resource. The Collection also has circuit plans, books, postcards and photographs showing individual Ministers, churches and various outings or events held by the Methodists, directories, histories of Chapels, class tickets, conference reports, bills showing forthcoming events, Methodist publications such as Methodist Recorder.
When the collection was deposited it was not electronically listed but details were held in a card index system. This is still available as a cross-reference tool in the Heritage Quay search room. The Collection catalogue is now available via our website at www.heritagequay.org. The collection is still growing as deposits are made each year by the Society.
WHS/5939, The Life of Ida May Haigh: The Child Vocalist of Golcar. This book is quite attractive and tells the story of her life, although ends sadly as Ida May died very young.
WHS/11881 Illuminated document showing the historical genealogy of the Ottley circuit.
Society of Cirplanologists
Registers of Methodist Circuit Plans 1770-1860 produced by the Society of Cirplanologists with supplements at various stages e.g. 1963, 1970
These plans detail ministers and lay preachers who were grouped into circuits. By 1770 this lead to the development of a matrix for the quarterly scheme of appointments which in turn formed into a directory showing preacher’s names, addresses details of chapels and other information. The Cirplanologists study these and they publish their research which is useful for family research.
Heritage Quay takes top honours in the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) Library Design Awards
AS the year drew to a close the University’s archive centre Heritage Quay celebrated by adding another win to their awards tally, making 2016 their most successful year to date with five national awards.
The University’s archive centre took the honours in the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) Library Design Awards in the Under 2,000 Square Meters category. The awards, which have been taking place every three years since 1973, recognise the best in the practical as well as the cutting-edge design of higher education libraries.
SCONUL represents all university libraries in the UK and Ireland, as well as national libraries and many of the UK’s colleges of higher education.
The panel of judges cited ‘the University of Huddersfield’s Heritage Quay is an excellent example of a repurposing of social space within a wider library and student services environment, in order to achieve some very clear institutionally led strategic objectives. In the case of Heritage Quay, these consist of enabling access and increasing visibility of the university’s archives, whilst broadening and developing the collection and securing them for the university and for the people of Huddersfield”.
The Director of Computing and Library Services Sue White said she is thrilled that Heritage Quay has been recognised in these latest library design awards.
“This award is richly deserved and recognises the transformative effect of Heritage Quay in bringing the collections to new audiences,” said Sue White. “This has been a remarkable year and great credit is due to the team, as well as everyone else across the University who has had input to the project.”
Heritage Quay – backed by an award of almost £1.6 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund – was opened in 2014 and has quickly gained a reputation as the most advanced and accessible in the sector. It is now regarded one of the most technologically-advanced archives in the UK and features a high-tech Exploration Space, enabling visitors to sample archival material via touch screens and gesture technology.
HDAS members Gerrie Brown (l), David Cockman (r) with Heritage Quay Archivist Lindsay Ince
The University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Thornton (centre) welcomes Society members to Heritage Quay (l-r) Gerrie Brown, David Cockman, Jo Heron and Edward Vickerman.
THE archive of an award-winning Society, which for the last 60 years has taken part in hands-on archaeology in the Kirklees area, has been deposited into the University’s official archives at Heritage Quay where it can be enjoyed by many for years to come. The catalogue is available at http://heritagequay.org/archives/HDAS/
The Huddersfield and District Archaeological Society (HDAS) was founded in 1956 and their extensive collection records more than thirty significant investigations of Roman roads and settlements, prehistoric sites and medieval and post-medieval industrial activity.
The items range from field notes to finished publications and there are maps, plans and a large collection of photographs and videos together with details of the Society minutes and the yearly cycle of lectures that are open to the public.
Presenting the archive to the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor and historian Professor Tim Thornton and Heritage Quay archivist Lindsay Ince were Gerrie Brown, HDAS research archivist, David Cockman image archivist, Jo Heron the current HDAS President and Past President Edward Vickerman.
Gerrie Brown co-ordinated the collection and says the Society is pleased the items are now in Heritage Quay where they can be seen by other archaeologists, students and members of the public, rather than being stored away in poor conditions where they might be vulnerable to damage.
“Mixed paper documents need to be in a temperature and humidity controlled environment,” said Gerrie, “because of this we are extremely grateful to have a local, state-of-the-art facility such as Heritage Quay to house the collection,” he added.
Some of the most notable pieces in the archive belong to archaeological digs of the vicus – civilian area – of the Slack Roman Fort near Outlane which took place in 2007, 2008 and 2010. Here they uncovered new evidence that showed the Roman presence at Slack continued well into the 3rd and possibly 4th centuries AD even after the Roman army had moved north to Hadrian’s Wall and the military use of the fort had ended around 140AD.
“Such was the interest in this work that an academic publishing house called Archaeopress in Oxford agreed to publish The Romans in Huddersfield – a New Assessment (BAR620) in their prestigious British Archaeological Report series,” said Gerrie.
It was the gathering of information for this report, published in 2015, which demonstrated the need for a more permanent and singular home for the items. Still in the Society’s possession are numerous items of pottery, tile and glass because they require a different environment to mixed paper documents.
“There is a sadness that we can’t get the pottery in, but I live in hope that someday we will find a home for the pottery somewhere in Huddersfield,” said Gerrie.
Lindsay Ince, Heritage Quay’s Assistant Archivist & Records Manager, says the work of organisations like HDAS is important to the understanding of the past through archaeology. “We are delighted to make the Society’s archive available for use,” said Lindsay. “Voluntary societies like HDAS often have the resources to do fieldwork and research which otherwise wouldn’t happen.”
One such piece of research is the exploratory excavation of a strange D shaped enclosure in Honley Old Woods. If HDAS can find definitive dating evidence to place it in the Bronze or Iron Ages, it will make a case for Historic England to schedule the site and give it protection for the future.
There are also ambitious plans to re-start archaeological investigations of the well-known Almondbury Hill Fort on Castle Hill in Huddersfield and project design and fundraising activities are currently underway.
I blame google! That one little search box has become so ubiquitous that we expect it everywhere, and to reward us immediately with the right answers. Except… remember all those times – with increasing frustration – you’ve to click on to page 4 of the search results with no success? Well, you might on occasion find yourself in a similar position in an archives catalogue (Tip 1: Try adding info into fewer search fields. Just the keyword field if possible. Despite the number of options, less is often more in search). Although standards exist to try and ensure that archives are described in broadly the same terms everywhere, collections that have been processed by different professionals over potentially different decades may well have slight differences, and that’s before you take into account institutional quirks!
Plus even if you hit gold on your first search, how do you know there isn’t an equally relevant stash of material you might be interested in (yes, I know, the Related Material field, see Part One!) but might not be related to the material you’re looking at (ha, gotcha!)? A basic understanding of how an archivist structures an archive catalogue can help you browse and discover new material. The sector is trying to make this more obvious via linked data, indeed you may have noticed tags starting to appear at the bottom of online catalogues that link to collections with a common subject/person/theme on some of the online portals. There’s an awful lot of work to be done to make all existing catalogues compatible with this, so being able to navigate a catalogue yourself is still a useful skill!
You might find it helpful, as I do, to imagine archive catalogues like family trees, although if they are displayed as a ‘tree’ they more usually look like computer file system trees. The broadest descriptions are at the top and the most specific at the bottom, or in our catalogue the broadest on the left and most specific on the right. The broadest description is the collection level description, in the trade we often call it the fonds record (it’s French but if you ever see it bandied about think: collection, as that’s broadly what it is). This record should be the broadest descriptor and encompass everything underneath it, from subject content to included formats.
If you have access to an extract of a tree, you can often navigate up to the top and see if the ‘siblings’ of the records you were looking at are helpful, as they will contain similar levels of description. They are known as Series in catalogues, and irrespective of containing multiple records, may well be on a similar or related theme, as we can see by the numerous committees in the example. This is where browsing is most helpful, take this example from West Yorkshire:
So if your results landed you in KMT18/12/2/13 Huddersfield Council Concerts Committee, you might not realise, until you get to this view of the catalogue that it might be worth looking in KMT18/12/2/3 Huddersfield Arts Committee, or to see if Lindley or Almondbury have an Arts Committee. Browsing has now opened up three other possible research avenues you may have not considered.
If you know a particular form of words is in use this might help you find it in other parts of the catalogue or even other archive catalogues. If you’re researching death rituals and have been searching for cemetery records, then KMT18/12/2/8 Burial Grounds Committee probably wouldn’t have come up, but you can try your search again with burial grounds to see if it brings new results. So jumping into search can be great if you have a specific query in mind. But if you want to widen your research net, or you’re struggling to bring up what you need through search, browsing a catalogue can often be worth a go!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01484 473168 by the end of August to find out more