From time to time we’re in a position to be able to help the next generation of Archivists get some work experience to help them obtain places on the postgraduate training. During June we hosted Razia and Felicity in Heritage Quay, both of whom already have some experience in archives already and are hoping to train within the next couple of years.
Hi, I am working as a volunteer in the Heritage Quay Archives for two weeks. I have been working on several different projects and familiarizing myself with what the role of an archivist entails. I have been learning about how precision and accuracy is needed especially when listing catalogues including scores and manuscripts. During this fortnight I have also worked intensively in the strongroom and the bookstore cataloguing rare books from the Special Collections. These have mainly been donated to Heritage Quay by public figures or institutions, for example, the theatre company called Mikron and also the prominent local conscientious objector Arthur Gardiner.
Gardiner was a prominent member of the Huddersfield Socialist party and refused to take up arms in the military. This is all well documented in the archives. In later years, he became a popular Labour figure and Mayor of Huddersfield. His estate donated his large library collection to the archives and part of my duties here included cataloguing each book.
His book collection mirrored his political views as the vast majority of the collection was on socialist ideology, such as: Problems of a Socialist Government, Karl Marx, Social and Political Pioneer, Civilisation: Its Causes and Cure and Ethics and A Worker Looks at Economics. As well as these he also possessed a large number of well-known fiction titles, such as; Tess of the D’ubervilles, The Road the Wigan Pier, Works of Robert Browning, War and Peace, Robert Burns and the Common People, Madame Bovary and Shakespeare’s As You Like It.
His archives were wide and vast, embracing both works of classical literature and non-fiction works on social reform.