October Scavenger Hunt!

We invite you to solve the clues, follow the trail and conquer the Heritage Quay scavenger hunt

It’s easy to become lost in the labyrinth that is an archive catalogue so we’re going to give you a series of clues to follow. Each clue will lead you to a place in the catalogue which will have a letter hidden somewhere within it, and the clue to the next location. You’ll need to collect all eight letters by the end of the hunt to reveal the password to a special webpage.

Some of the clues are hard and you might need to spend some time thinking about them or ask for help. If you’re really stuck you can ask us for a hint on our social media channels @heritage_quay.

Before you start, you’ll need to know a little bit about how an archive catalogue works. Here’s an example of what an entry looks like

RFL/HR/1/1/1

This is called a Reference Number. All you need to know at the moment is that ‘RFL’ is the code we’ve given to the Collection, HR is a section of that Collection (in this case, things about staff and managing people) and the three numbers are sub-sections which get more specific as you go along. The last number is usually an individual item or a few items. It can help to visualise it like a tree.

Drawing of an archive catalogue tree
RLF/HR/1/1/1 Expressed as a catalogue tree

Why not check out the entry to see what it looks like in real life https://heritagequay.org/archives/rfl/hr/1/1/1/. Clicking on the text above the title of the item will move you up the tree.

Don’t worry too much about the rest, we’ll help you along the way as you do the hunt

Click here for Clue 1

Scavenger Hunt Clue 1

Before you start, make sure you’ve read our Scavengers Hunt instructions
All good to go? Then read on!

Clue 1

Let’s start with an easy one. Put www.heritagequay.org/archives into your browser. On a desktop computer you should see a search panel on the left and a list of archive collections on the right. On mobiles and tablets the layout may vary.

Scroll through the archive collections (remember to check more than the first page but you don’t need to go too far!) until you find one that matches the following clue, and click on it:

My title is national, my content is musical and I’m full of scores and recordings

You’re now inside that collection. There are two things to spot.

1) It now says the collection name in the search panel under the Reference Number. This means that any searches you do in the other boxes, (like adding a date) will only search in that collection.

2) The right hand side shows the different sections of the collection.

We’re looking for a musical score (the section code for this is SC) whose title is a Greek mythical story about a long journey

Keeping the collection code in the Reference Number field, type the name of the story into ‘Title or Description contains’ and press go. You should get 6 results.

The score you’re looking for is just for singers

Click on the one you think it is to see if you’re right. There should be a letter in the description (keep a note of it) and the next clue attached as an image. If you can’t see these, you’re not in the right place yet. If you can see the letter but the the image isn’t loading – get in touch and let us know!

Mysteries in the Archives

The way we view the contents of archives change and evolve over time as they are examined, arranged and catalogued. As we unpick the contents of boxes (and do some research!) we discover connections and relationships we didn’t know about before. But occasionally – especially with older collections – there may not be any paperwork, or it cannot be discovered anymore, so all we have is the collection. The papers or objects in it may or may not tell their story easily. Today’s collection is just one of those archives. It’s called the Glass Plate Negative collection and is full of slides taken by someone who has travelled extensively through the United Kingdom and Europe. Some annotations on each slide suggest there may be a connection to Methodism, but we don’t really know! We do see a journey through Europe before the scars of two world wars marked the landscape, and even after the First World War – exploring landscapes, natural features, tourist locations, the lives of ordinary people and great events, like the coronation of George V.

Our student helper Michael has painstakingly sorted, repackaged and catalogued this fragile format, to ensure researchers can discover these wonderful images in future.

Mass Observation of COVID-19

Hey Heritage Quay! Where’s your COVID Mass Observation archive?

Across the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) sector, there was a rush of calls in March and April asking for participants for mass observation-style projects, aiming to capture the everyday experiences of COVID-19. Subsequently, there has been a series of projects looking to document the Black Lives Matter 2020 protests. There’s a lot going on this year, and GLAM people want to make sure it’s documented for future researchers.

At Heritage Quay we seriously discussed the idea of doing a COVID project ourselves, asking for submissions from the general public in the form of diaries, audio visual materials etc but decided not to. We realised our efforts were better spent on making sure that our organisation, the University of Huddersfield, is documenting its approach to this unprecedented crisis, but that’s it for now. One of the things that we took into account was the multitude of other projects out there, which I’ve listed below. These were repositories better set up to take in and process the contributions, and were often more relevant for communities. We would just be adding more noise into the mix.

We are considering setting up activities for staff and students at the University to contribute when campus has reopened, which would be more about processing through creative activity or conversation with the option of donating afterwards. For us, this feels like the right approach.

Some recent writing has raised interesting questions about this impulse of cultural institutions to collect in times of crisis and how much they exploit people’s grief (read this link). We’d love to know your thoughts on this.

On balance we don’t consider these projects, which are asking people to share their potential trauma, to be exploitative, if they are done right but we are aware that that can be a tricky line to tread. If you are creating a document of your experience at home, and are thinking of donating it somewhere, check out national and local projects and find the one that feels right to you.

As always, stay safe, and we hope to see you at Heritage Quay soon

Some projects for you to consider:

CoronaDiary at University of Swansea (link)

Lockdown Diaries at Lambeth Archives  (link)

Covid Diaries in Leeds (link)

Community, Covid & You at the Open University (link)

OVID-19 Diaries for Salisbury at Salisbury Museum (link)

West Yorkshire Archive Service  (link)

COVID-19 Pandemic Project at FACHRS (link)

West Sussex Archives (link)

And of course, the 12th May MO project at the University of Sussex did this over one whole day (link)

Covid-19 (coronavirus) update June 2020

Heritage Quay facilities remain closed as with the rest of the University campus. However staff continue to work remotely as we have done since March.

We are working hard to undertake risk assessments and plan new ways of working so that we can make the necessary changes to be able to open our facilities.  This will take place as soon as it is safe to do so and will likely be phased over a period of time. The wellbeing and safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers are our priority. We will be working in collaboration with other providers where appropriate and in line with government guidance. 

In the meantime we continue to respond to emails and we will respond to essential enquiries where we can.

Further updates will be made on our website and social media channels.

Please continue to adhere to official advice to protect yourselves and others: Public Health England, and do not travel to Heritage Quay.

A statement from Heritage Quay

Like many other institutions and individuals we observed blackout Tuesday on 2nd June across our social media channels in support of #BlackLivesMatter.

As a memory institution we believe that we have a social responsibility to protect our collective memories. However, unequal power structures result in many forgotten, undervalued and erased histories from various under represented groups. These include LGBTQIA, Disabled, BAME, neuro-divergent, working class and women. We acknowledge that the collections at Heritage Quay currently perpetuate this situation, and are taking steps to dismantle this.

We want to stand with those who are striving for a real change and against oppression, racism, injustice and inequality. We believe it is important to take concrete action as well as standing in solidarity.

At this particular time our actions include: sharing resources so that we can continue to educate ourselves about the issues. Highlighting social media accounts will inevitably miss many out, but here are a (very) few I follow to listen, support and learn: MuseumDetox, Natalie Morris, Jass Thethi, Ibram Kendi, Afua Hirsch, Angela Saini, Reni Eddo-Lodge, The Conscious Kid, gal-dem, Black Cultural Archives.

The job of being educated is ongoing. Again, there are very many resources out there but I’d like to recommend reading these practical and thought-provoking pieces from the last few days:

Finally, if you haven’t yet listened to “About Race”, a podcast presented by Reno Eddo Lodge, I’d really recommend it.

For those with children, Black Curriculum is a social enterprise run by young black people challenging the lack of Black British history in the UK curriculum. There’s also this fantastic thread of books for children (US-focussed but excellent for kids here too) and another great book list for supporting conversations on race and racism with children, including short blurbs and recommended age ranges. 

As individuals, we can donate to organisations in the front line of tackling racism. There are many groups who need support – some examples include UK Black Lives Matter fund and Hope Not Hate in the UK, and in the US Black Lives Matter and support for people arrested while peacefully protesting. Our team members are signing petitions and undertaking other lobbying in support of systemic change: Zing Tsjeng has a useful list.

If there are other ways you think we can become better allies and a better service, please let me know.

Bundles of Birds – the Ted Hughes Archive

Hi, my name is Abbi, I’m a second year English Lit with Creative Writing student – and I have spent part of the last year on placement with the Ted Hughes Network, cataloguing their collection in Heritage Quay. Cataloguing is a fairly simple but time consuming task which involves handling the materials, which can include broadsides and limited edition press books, listing it on a spreadsheet and giving it a catalogue number before boxing it.

The catalogue number is unique to each item – and we decided to use a collection/sunfond/year of publication-title-type, for example, the item ‘Animal Poems’ has the catalogue number: THN/PN/1967-Animal-BK1. This means that it’s collection is THN (Ted Hughes Network), the subfond is a subcategory with ‘Animal Poems’ belonging to the Poetry Limited Editions and Prints subfond, it was published in 1967, first word of its title is ‘Animal’ and BK stands for book.

Abbi having fun researching the collections with fellow History student Michael.

The Ted Hughes Network collection is in its infancy but constantly growing, and it’s really exciting to see some of the recent acquisitions; which include the beautiful Bundle of Birds – which is a handbound, handwritten collection of Ted Hughes’ poems, made by Hughes and his son Nicholas as a gift for Olwyn Hughes, Ted’s sister and his literary agent. This item is exquisitely detailed and totally unique – and I would really recommend taking the opportunity to come and see it and other items within the collection. You can also find the collection online on the Heritage Quay website at https://heritagequay.org/archives/THN*/.

Some of the items I listed were also made part of a Heritage Quay’s exhibition called ‘Hughes and Larkin: Poets and Rivals’ which gave an insight to the working and personal relationship between the poets – with some items on loan from the University of Hull.

It’s been a really exciting placement to work on and I’m really pleased to see my work on exhibition – even if it’s just the catalogue numbers. I’m hoping to continue my work with the Ted Hughes Network in the future – and will be using my experience to underpin future studies here at Huddersfield.

Heritage Quay at Home: Tell it!

As part of our series of Heritage Quay at Home activity packs today we’re exploring the theme of Tell it!

This theme is all about creating and sharing stories, which is ideal for any budding curators and writers. Archives are full of stories waiting to be discovered and can also inspire new stories.

Who am I?

Whose is this?

Location, Location, Location

You can also have a go at curate your own exhibition with our handy how-to guide

If you want to share your stories with us, post them on our social media with #HQatHome and tag us in @Heritage_Quay