Huddersfield and District Archaeological Society deposits archive at Heritage Quay

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HDAS members Gerrie Brown (l), David Cockman (r) with Heritage Quay Archivist Lindsay Ince

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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.

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“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.

Story originally published at http://www.hud.ac.uk/news/2016/november/huddersfieldanddistrictarchaeologicalsocietydepositsarchive.php

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 our volunteers

Last week we held a thank you celebration for our team of volunteers. Some of them have finished their time with us and others are continuing. (There will be new opportunities for volunteers in the autumn).

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Thornton presented each volunteer who was able to attend with a certificate of their volunteering so far – between the 9 people who were able to be there they’ve clocked up 1,800 hours in a year – or equivalent to 0.6 of a full-time post! A really amazing contribution for which we’re very grateful, and look forward to continuing to work with these key members of our team.

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Outstanding Library team at the Times Higher Education Leadership & Management Awards 2016

originally published at https://www.hud.ac.uk/news/2016/june/congratulationstoouroutstandinglibraryteam.phpTHE Awards-1147_library

London, 23 June 2016: University of Huddersfield won the Outstanding Library team award last night, at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2016. The awards, now in their eighth year recognise outstanding leadership and management in the UK’s higher education institutions.

Heritage Quay, the University of Huddersfield’s official archive, opened in October 2014. From the start, it was designed to offer “a truly interactive service where collections become a catalyst for creativity and are a living archive, offering a lively interface between our audiences and the academic community”.

The result is unique among archives in any sector in its use of immersive technology, including an IMAX-style 7 metre video wall to allow visitors to animate and interact with the heritage collections. The wide-ranging programme of events and outreach across Yorkshire and beyond are also highly unusual within UK higher education.

These goals were achieved through the identification of thematic communities of interest, and extensive consultation with partners in the public sector and voluntary organisations, as well as the owners of the principal collections, such as the Rugby Football League and Sound and Music (the national charity for new music). As a result of this, the university created a four-year activity plan and an interpretation strategy, which also underpinned the overall development of the building.

The judges praised Huddersfield’s “amazing new knowledge hub” as “a great example of how to transform valuable heritage collections into an interactive and engaging interdisciplinary resource”.

“The project uses state-of-the-art technology with clear purpose, bringing to life previously hidden knowledge and enabling new connections and ideas to be born. The project’s vision and focus on quality will have a positive impact on the university for many years to come.”

Winners attended a black-tie event at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, hosted by actor and comedian Jimmy Carr, where over 1,000 guests gathered to celebrate outstanding performance in the competitive world of UK higher education.

The winners were chosen by a panel of judges including Alison Johns, chief executive of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, David McBeth, director of research and knowledge exchange services at the University of Strathclyde, and Maja Maricevic, head of higher education at the British Library.

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Archives Service Accreditation presented

LEADING figures from the National Archives, based at Kew, came to the University of Huddersfield to bestow one of the most sought-after awards in the sector.

The University is the home of Heritage Quay, a £1.6 million, technologically-advanced archives centre that is highly accessible to the general public and specialist researchers alike. Now, it has officially been declared an Accredited Archive Service.

This is a distinction awarded by a panel including the National Archives and the Archives and Records Association. The certificate states that the aim is to “ensure the long-term collection, preservation and accessibility of our archive heritage”. Accreditation is a UK quality standard “which recognises good performance in all areas of archive service delivery”.

It was announced earlier this year that Heritage Quay – after an exhaustive application and validation process – had been granted Accredited Archive Service status. The award has now formally been made at a ceremony attended by Caroline Ottaway-Searle, who is Director of Public Engagement at the National Archives, and Melinda Haunton, their Programme Manager for Accreditation.

The University's Sarah Wickham (right) receives the certificate of Accreditation from The National Archives' Caroline Ottaway-Searle
The University’s Sarah Wickham (right) receives the certificate of Accreditation from The National Archives’ Caroline Ottaway-Searle

‌Members of the Heritage Quay team was present to receive the award, alongside University of Huddersfield Archivist and Records Manager Sarah Wickham, Director of Computing and Library Services Sue White and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Thornton.

The nine-strong team at Heritage Quay worked on the substantial submission that was required to apply for accreditation. It appraised factors such as repository standards, the range of public services offered, the policies and procedures in place for managing and cataloguing collections, and the outreach activities taking place amongst a wide range of audiences.

After the document was completed, Accreditation Assessors from across the archives sector visited Heritage Quay to validate the submission.

Out of some 2000 archives in the UK, Accredited status has so far been awarded to 45. The University of Huddersfield joins a list that includes the National Archives themselves, plus London Metropolitan Archives, Lancashire Archives, the National Records of Scotland, the Churchill Archives Centre and the National Library of Wales.

Heritage Quay barcode When it announced that Heritage Quay had joined the list, the Accreditation Panel cited “the recent years of hugely impressive development to this archive service, and the overall uplifting and positive impression of the service in this application”.

It added that “outputs of recent years included a very sound policy basis for the service to develop in future, in addition to the significant achievements supported by a major grant award”.

Archivist and Records Manager Sarah Wickham has said that accreditation “has been a considerable achievement by all of the staff working in Heritage Quay”

“It recognises the high-quality work we do,” she added. “We are a relatively new team, so to achieve this endorsement in such a short space of time is absolutely fantastic.”
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•Heritage Quay was opened in 2014 by Gary Verity, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Yorkshire and the Humber, after the University was awarded almost £1.6 million from the HLF to develop a new archives centre. It is now regarded one of the most technologically-advanced archives in the UK, featuring a high-tech Exploration Space that enables visitors to sample archival material via touch screens and gesture technology. It mounts regular exhibitions and special events that have included lectures, concerts and theatrical performances plus public sessions such as a popular course on the history of brass bands in the Pennines. Heritage Quay has won many awards for its work including a Guardian Higher Education “Inspiring Building” award, and a special commendation in the Royal Historical Society’s inaugural Public History Prize

Story originally published at http://www.hud.ac.uk/news/2016/june/heritagequayreceivesaccreditedarchiveservicedistinction.php

Yorkshire and India in the 1930s: Co-researching the Whitley Collection

A team of students from our History department are in the searchroom today as part of their co-research into the Whitley Collection.

The following article was originally posted on the Historians at work blog by Prof Paul Ward

A group of undergraduate and postgraduate students and academic staff at the University of Huddersfield have come together to curate an exhibition, write a conference paper, and to publish a chapter in a book. Paul Ward, professor of modern British history, explains why engaging students as researchers and using a co-production approach to interpreting the past will lead to a better historical understanding about relationships between Britain and its Empire in the early 1930s.

The group are looking at JH Whitley, the MP for Halifax between 1900 and 1928 and Speaker of the House of Commons in the 1920s, whose papers are held in Heritage Quay. The project explores his attitudes to the British Empire. Whitley had a growing enthusiasm for the Empire Parliamentary Association as a vehicle for binding the British Empire more closely together through developing relationships between politicians from the dominions and Empire and those at the Palace of Westminster.

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Mohandas Ghandhi’s autograph in the Speaker’s visitors’ book, held in Heritage Quay

As a co-production group, we are going to examine Whitley’s role as chairman of the Royal Commission on Labour in India between 1929 and 1931, using the scrapbooks relating to his visits to India held in the J.H. Whitley collection to establish his cultural attitudes to Empire. We will:
•Look at Whitley’s statements on Empire as an MP.
•Research biographies of the members of the Royal Commission, including the female and Indian members.
•Map the Royal Commission’s travels across the Indian sub-continent.
•Analyse the newspaper stories written and the photographs taken and collected in a series of scrapbooks.
•Consider the members’ descriptions of their tour of India and the Report’s recommendations.
•Analyse Indian attitudes towards Whitley and the Commission, including the visit Gandhi made to him in 1933.
•Use a variety of conceptual tools to think about our research and the meaning of the commission in the early 1930s, including orientalism, colonialism and postcolonialism and subaltern studies.
•Examine relationships between Britain and India – and especially the locality of Halifax in Yorkshire – in the 1930s and the present.

This is a good opportunity for students to undertake training for primary historical research, exhibition curation and academic writing and the students will receive full credit as curators and authors of the exhibition, conference paper and book chapter. But it is also an experiment to apply collaborative research to a range of historical sources, including the Commission’s 600-page report, Hansard, and the Whitley collection itself. Using a group of researchers will enable sustained collaborative discussion about the meaning of the documents because of the multiple perspectives that will be available. Already we have benefited from the interdisciplinary nature of the project team – we have students from textile practice and politics as well as history – and through taking an open-minded approach to historical interpretation, we hope to be able to explore the workings of the Royal Commission in a variety of ways.

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First encounters with the Whitley scrapbooks in Heritage Quay.

All historical research has elements of collaboration – through working with archivists and other scholars. Yet we are embedding the collaboration into the heart of this project and at every stage. While the project was initiated through the deposit of the Whitley collection in Heritage Quay and History at Huddersfield‘s desire to make use of it, the students are involved in designing the research questions, undertaking the systematic study of the primary sources, conducting an extensive survey of the historiography, interpreting the evidence, and co-writing each aspect of the outputs. We have deliberately kept options open about what the outputs will look like – they will be textual but they will also be digital, visual and creative serving the purpose of interpreting the research in different ways in order to understand the past in different ways. We are also able to draw on the knowledge of the Whitley family who deposited the collection at the university. Amy Stoddart and Madeleine Longtin, a second year students, on the project explained why they had got involved:

Amy : I am fascinated by colonial India and keen to take part in research opportunities, so this project was a perfect fit for me. I am excited to be both involved in some original research and also to be working collaboratively, which is not something I have done before. I am eager to see what conclusions this project comes too and the way in which the different perspectives and opinions of all the people involved come together to shape the project. Also, I hope to go on to do a masters degree after graduating and so this is a great opportunity for me to gain skills and experience for that.

Madeleine : I sought to be involved with the Whitley research project because I feel like it is an extraordinary opportunity. To explore primary documents that have yet to be analysed, research collaboratively with members of University staff and post-graduates, and to be involved in the creation of a published piece of work are all experiences that are both rare and incredibly valuable for undergraduates such as myself. Consequently, I believe this will be one of the most important learning experiences I will have at the University of Huddersfield and I look forward to what seeing what our research may discover.

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Rob Clegg, Heritage Quay’s collections access officer, talking to Whitley students about using archives.

The radical historian Raphael Samuel wrote, ‘history is not the prerogative of the historian … It is, rather, a social form of knowledge; the work, in any given instance, of a thousand different hands.’ In this project, we want to foreground collaborative ways of working in order to understand the past and its implications for the society we inhabit today.

History at Huddersfield utilises research-led teaching and a commitment to public engagement to ensure that what we do is both useful to society and beneficial to the employability of our students. We see our students as researchers – partners in the development of knowledge with academic staff, often through co-production of knowledge with community partners. For more information see http://www.hud.ac.uk/courses/full-time/undergraduate/history-ba-hons/ and http://www.hud.ac.uk/research/history/