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

Heritage Quay at Home: Discover it!

Our final theme in our series of Heritage Quay at Home activity packs is Discover it!

This theme is all about sharpening those research skills and playing detective.

Why not have a go at making a historic map featuring your home or school? Download our how-to guide to find out what to do

Something else you can do at home is look out for the pests that can damage archive collections.

Pests!

Download this sheet first, then the ones below to create your activity pack

The images of the pests can be downloaded here and the labels here

and answers here

Educational Resources

We also have a range of educational packs with videos, which you can find at the mylearning.org website.

Heritage Quay at Home: Draw it!

These activities are simple and straightforward to do, since we’ve all got pens and pencils lying around the house, but still offer a chance for kids to get their creative juices flowing. Click on the images to download.

Drawings of old fashioned Rubgy League kits from 1922

Rugby League colouring sheets. Parents can have a go at this one too as a bit of colouring in is a good stress-buster. These colouring sheets are inspired by our Rugby Football League collection – stick to the colours of your favourite team or if you fancy having a go at fashion design, think outside the box (or the lines).

Make a Victorian-style newspaper advert for a weird and wonderful invention to solve a modern-day problem.

Take a picture of your finished artwork to share on our social media with #HQatHome and tag us in @Heritage_Quay

Heritage Quay at Home: Build it!

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

These hands-on projects show you how to design and create your own buildings from materials that you probably already have at home.

These activities were originally inspired by an exhibition at Heritage Quay about local buildings but are just as relevant now. Click on the images to download the instructions.

Think like an Architect instructions. If you want the original text instead of an image please get in touch

Think like an Architect

Build your own Queensgate market with LEGO instructions

Build Queensgate Market Hall from LEGO

Create a Cardboard town instructions. If you want the original text instead of an image please get in touch

Create a Cardboard Town

Take a picture of your finished architectural masterpieces and share it with us on social media using #HQatHome and tag us in @Heritage_Quay.

HQ at Home: Education Package Launch

Logo, text  reads "Heritage Quay at Home"

Home schooling and teaching remotely under lockdown can be a challenge – as can keeping the kids entertained. So at Heritage Quay, we’re offering a free package of fun (but educational) activities for children to do at home or at school, as part of our Heritage Quay at Home initiative.  

We’re uploading a series of worksheets that children can do either on their own or with parents. The activities are inspired by our collections, and influenced by successful workshops and outreach projects previously held at Heritage Quay in partnership with schools. You might want to use them to supplement your lessons, or just for a bit of a change!

Some of these worksheets are targeted at specific key stages and cover a range of subjects, including English and History. They include creative writing challenges and building projects that give children the chance to be architects (with Lego and cardboard rather than bricks and mortar, that is!). 

The activities are grouped under four themes and you can find out more and download the resources by clicking the links below.

Build it!

Tell it!

Draw it!

Discover it!

You can also follow us on our social media @Heritage_Quay and share your experience learning with us with the hashtag #HQatHome

Society for the Promotion of New Music

The Society for the Promotion of New Music (originally The Committee for the Promotion of New Music) was founded in London, 1943, by composer Francis Chargin, for the purpose of promoting the creation, performance and appreciation of new music by young and unestablished composers. The SPNM was a membership organisation which sought to find the best new composers and to help support their careers, especially in the UK. All schools, styles and nationalities (as long as the composer was a UK resident) were welcome. Composers would submit work to the SPNM and, if their work was found to be of merit, the young composer would have a chance to hear it performed in concert. The panel reviewing submissions were not looking for masterpieces and expected works to be rough and ready in part, allowing for the inexperience of the composer. What the SPNM’s reading panel were looking for was originality and potential. After the performance, constructive feedback was provided not only by professional musicians but audience members as well. If a composer’s work was judged to be of outstanding quality, then it would find its way onto the List of Recommended Works, meaning that it would be recommended for publication and performance outside of the SPNM.

Despite its charitable ambitions, the SPNM faced criticism throughout its history. The SPNM’s chief concern of providing self-help to composers meant that the music played at its concerts was not always popular with a general audience. The SPNM’s criteria for choosing its repertoire was also broad and inconsistent. Although older and more established composers’ work still counted as ‘new music’, if the composer was ‘unrecognised’, some felt that there was a bias in favour of younger composers. Nevertheless, the SPNM’s significance should not be undermined by these criticisms. The organisation helped a number of contemporary classical composers gain recognition. Composers such as Harrison Birtwisle, Roger Smalley, and Peter Zinovieff benefitted from the SPNM’s support. According to The Oxford Dictionary of Music (6th edition), in its first 50 years, over ‘8,500 composers were represented in its concerts and over 9,000 scores were submitted to it’. In 2008, the SPNM merged with other organisations, including the British Music Information Centre, to form Sound and Music, ‘the national charity for new music in the UK’.

The SPNM’s archive at Heritage Quay contains records relating to the administration of the Society, including correspondence and papers, recordings, calls for work from composers, and programmes.

Have a look at our recent post on Arthur Arathoon Paul, whose fascinating story was unearthed during work on the SPNM archive.

Equality and diversity

This is new blog series from the team at Heritage Quay where we’re going to be sharing the practical steps we’re taking to make our collections, staff and services more diverse and accessible.

This is a long-term project that we have committed to working on, so please get in touch to tell us how we are doing. It’s important to us that we are open about what’s going on.

Those of you who keep an eye on the archives sector may have seen that the last ARA conference ended very acrimoniously. This emphasised for us that it isn’t enough to say that we believe in equality and diversity in archives, we need to take concrete action to make changes.

We’ve started by drawing up a plan for the areas we think we need to work in. This gives us some ways of planning our activities and focusing our efforts.

To begin, we’ve identified some quick things we can do to lay the groundwork. This includes reading up on what other people are doing well, putting together a list of resources available to use, and mapping networks to speak to in the next phase.

That phase will involve a lot of listening and talking with those more qualified and experienced than us.

We commit to sharing the outcomes of those conversations here, and making changes in what we do. This will be a long-term project, and we are bound to get some things wrong, but we are committed to learning, openness and humility as we go. We also want to be allies to people already doing work around injustices in the sector, and offering concrete support and help to them where we can.