What a week it’s been in Heritage Quay!

What a week it’s been in Heritage Quay!

Last week was our first official week here in the new Archives so I thought today would be a good time to reflect on the breath and value of what we’ve got up to in that short space of time.

The week began with the launch of Heritage Quay by Gary Verity (from our funders HLF), Cllr Ken Smith (Mayor of Kirklees Council) and a small group of invited guests. What was so pleasing for me was the sheer range of people who came to support us. I met not only University staff, funders and major partners but more local individuals and groups who will play a large part in our future.

HQ launch-62

On Tuesday we hosted the Royal Historical Society and the University’s History Department with a fascinating lecture from Dr Alex Shepard of the University of Glasgow who talked about her research into the experience of women in the past, a key theme of our collections.

Dr Sheppard talks to University history students
Dr Sheppard talks to University history students

Wednesday saw Heritage Quay host a performance by one of our newest partners, Mikron Theatre Company. With their archive coming to us in the near future the very well attended show felt like a brilliant way to mark the start of a great relationship. Lindsay followed up on the performance by speaking at the Mikron Friends event on Satuday.

Friday was relatively quiet – but it was the first Through the Quay-hole tour of the archive, led by Rob. Curious staff came down on their lunchbreaks and left knowing a lot more about what we’ve got and how they can use it. If you’re interested too make sure you book on a tour in the future.

It all ended with Rugby League on Saturday. Fans from across the country came to Heritage Quay for Supporters Direct’s Voice of the Fans day – it was awesome to finish the week feeling a part of the Rugby League community.

Picture of Rugby League forum
Neil Hampshire and Phil Caplan quiz Blake Solly of the Super League on the future of the sport

Of course we’ve also welcomed staff, students and the public who have just come to look around and see what’s going on (and play with the Big Curvy Screen!)

Picture of someone using the interactive screen in Heritage Quay
Have you tried it yet?

Dave

Judging scores by their covers

This week our team of student helpers have been making amazing strides in sorting, ordering and interfiling large sections of the British Music Collection. This vital work will dramatically improve access to thousands of scores in the collection and enable researchers to browse, study and experience the collection in the way that the British Music Information Centre intended. However during this interfiling we’ve also been thoroughly enjoying lots of the artwork in the collection, here are some of our favourites…

Six jester songs by Granville Bantock
Six jester songs by Granville Bantock
Cat walk for Leo by Sonja E Grossner
Cat walk for Leo by Sonja E Grossner
Misper by John Lunn
Misper by John Lunn
Baba Yaga's daughter by Lydia West
Baba Yaga’s daughter by Lydia West

 

Mug grunt by Richard Orton
Mug grunt by Richard Orton
Christus by Francis Pott
Christus by Francis Pott

Textile Fabrics in Huddersfield

The University is alive with conferences celebrating all things historical at the moment! This weekend is Unofficial Histories which is examining histories beyond official and elite version from the ‘text books’. In two weeks time it will be the first Huddersfield Histories festival, which is set to examine some of the big moments in local history.

You might expect us an archive to have some kind of involvement in this type of event, but unfortunately, the near constant drilling in our offices is an ever-present reminder that the new archive centre must be our all-consuming priority at the moment! It’s no small feat, and move trials have already begun!

That being said, we will have some involvement with the Schools part of the Huddersfield Histories festival. The archive will be hosting a number of local school children in examining one of our interesting textile heritage related collections, the Textile Fabrics of India. In 1866, around 20 sets of these Indian textile samples were created and gifted to UK towns with close associations to textile production. They showed examples of fabrics for garments and goods, and are as vibrant and colourful today as when they were first woven. As part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, Preston’s Harris Museum made scans of their volumes available online. Nine still exist at the University of Huddersfield Archives, and available to view in person by visitors. We also hold a guide to the collection, written by the man who put it together, that explains both the technical details behind the creation of the fabrics, but also photographs of Indian people wearing the final products.

We’ll be introducing the University archives to these young people and letting them handle the archive material before designing their own response to it. See below for a typical – yet beautiful – example of the types of fabrics featured in the books.

tfoi1