As my job has entailed scanning and creating metadata for items in these collections, I’ve been able to leaf through concert programmes and composer magazines from 1942 up until the present. Even though I specialise in contemporary music, I never knew the extent to which these organisations were active in Britain over the 20th and into the 21st centuries until I dug into these collections. It was incredible to see the amount of new works created and performed in Huddersfield and across the UK, both by composers and ensembles I recognised and those not in the history books. On occasion I would find a professor of mine pictured when they were younger and styling long flowing hair, or I would recognise a composer from my home country, Canada, appearing in a Huddersfield concert. The international esteem of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival is certainly evident in this collection, with the likes of John Cage, Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Steve Reich, Gyorgy Ligeti, Robert Ashley and other famous modernist and experimental composers having visited the town. I wonder if Cage foraged for wild mushrooms in woods I’ve walked in, or if Yannis Xenakis was impressed by architecture of the Queensgate Market Hall—a building that relates in design to his own designs and compositions.
Probably my favourite find that stood out historically was in the SPNM’s archive. In digitising programmes of the organisation, which started during the second World War, I came across a studio recital scheduled for May 8th, 1945. Written in pencil across the top is ‘Cancelled – VE day’. Clearly the musicians and audience were on the streets celebrating. I’m impressed to think that the SPNM started a series of new music in a bombed-out London, and it reminds me of the value of making art rather than war.
The materials that are now available online include the ‘Composer’ magazine that was published from 1958 – 1987; HCMF’s programmes and booklets since 1978; and SPNM’s journal, New Notes, that ran from 1990 – 2009. All these materials are also available to view at Heritage Quay.
I have had 2 other roles at Heritage Quay: Student Helper and Project Assistant for the Derek Bailey Cataloguing Project. My role as Project Assistant consisted of myself and my colleague Barbora Vacková cataloguing the archive of the British free improvising guitarist, Derek Bailey. This archive is now available to view at Heritage Quay by appointment. More information on how to book an appointment to view archives at Heritage Quay can be found here.
We are delighted to announce that a unique collection of rare and valuable items relating to the former poet laureate Ted Hughes has been acquired by the University of Huddersfield and is now available at Heritage Quay.
Dr Steve Ely, Director of the Ted Hughes Network at the University comments: “We are delighted to have acquired Mark Hinchliffe’s outstanding collection. It comprises over 170 items, including signed first editions of dozens of Hughes’ trade, limited-edition and fine-press publications; original letters written by Hughes and his first wife, the poet Sylvia Plath; signed and annotated books from Hughes’s personal collection; and, some absolutely unique items: a very fine ceramic jaguar sculpted by Hughes in 1967, the only intact example anywhere in the world of Hughes’s work in the plastic arts.
“There is an album containing hundreds of photographs, including some previously unknown photographs of both Hughes and Plath; a holograph manuscript of the radio play ‘Orpheus & Eurydice’ with some significant differences to the broadcast and published versions, and, a bespoke edition of the Gehenna Press’ limited edition Howls & Whispers, comprising the original fine-book, 8 original watercolours by Leonard Baskin – two of which are pictured here – and a unique copper-plate, engraved portrait of Sylvia Plath.”
“Mark was a significant figure in the international Ted Hughes scholarly and collecting communities, a friend and correspondent of Ted and other members of the Hughes family, a member of the Ted Hughes Society, a founding member and chair of the Elmet Trust, a key figure in the development of the Ted Hughes Poetry Festival in the Upper Calder Valley, a scholar and a published poet – a significant figure in his own right.
“He was a great supporter of the work of the Ted Hughes Network at the University, and it is fitting that his collection should be retained in his hometown.”
Julie Hinchliffe comments: “I am absolutely delighted that the University of Huddersfield has acquired Mark’s extensive Ted Hughes collection. It was his wish that the collection should remain intact and be available for academics, students and the public to enjoy as much as he did. I know that he would be very pleased with its new home.”
The Collection will be housed in the University’s archive, Heritage Quay. Dr Rebecca Bowd, University Archivist comments: “We are thrilled to be able to preserve Mark Hinchliffe’s fantastic collection at Heritage Quay where for the first time it will be freely accessible to the public. The Ted Hughes Archive at Heritage Quay already holds three other Ted Hughes-related deposits: the Donald Crossley Papers, the Christopher Reid Papers and a comprehensive collection of Hughes’ fine and small press work.
“The purchase of this collection cements Heritage Quay’s reputation as a must-visit archive for Ted Hughes scholars world-wide and we can’t wait to welcome researchers to explore the collection here at the University of Huddersfield.
Heritage Quay will also work with the Ted Hughes Network to arrange public-facing events to engage people with the collection—a symposium, talks, poetry readings, exhibitions, creative writing workshops and events for young people are planned. The first of these, an exhibition featuring highlights from the collection will take place at Heritage Quay from late June to mid-September.”
Dr Simon Thurley CBE, Chair, National Heritage Memorial Fund comments: “The National Heritage Memorial Fund are delighted to support the University of Huddersfield with £33,775 to enable the purchase of the final five works from Mark Hinchcliffe’s private collection. The works that we have supported are considered unique and will now be shared widely by the university’s Ted Hughes Network & Heritage Quay, including through children’s workshops and creative writing activities.”
The Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, which has contributed £35,000, adds that “‘we are delighted to be able to support the acquisition of the Hinchcliffe Archive by the University of Huddersfield. Not only is it an important collection of material which explores the life and work of Ted Hughes, but the collection is fascinating in how it reflects the relationship between Hughes and Hinchcliffe; it has much research potential for students and academics alike, both national and international.”
Heritage Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “It is fitting that this extensive Ted Hughes collection has been acquired by the University of Huddersfield in the poet’s home county. I am delighted that UK Government funding through the National Heritage Memorial Fund has enabled it to happen. These brilliant works will now be available to academics, students and members of the public where they will provide endless inspiration and enjoyment for years to come.”
This collection was deposited at the University of Huddersfield in 2005 and forms part of the Non-conformist collections.
Wesleyan and Methodist heritage is an integral part of the history of countries worldwide The Society has regional Societies one of which is Yorkshire which started in 1962.
Methodism is a Christian denomination which began in mid-eighteenth Century in Britain by John Wesley although the sect originated in Germany. The history of Methodism can be found here. The site explains how the different sects were combined to form the United Methodist Church:
In the twentieth century most of the different Methodist denominations united together. The New Connexion, Bible Christians and United Methodist Free Churches (another breakaway following a major controversy in the Wesleyan church from 1849) came together in 1907, forming the United Methodist Church. That in turn joined with the Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists in 1932.
The Wesley Historical Society website states the aims of the society – which were set down at its formation in 1893 – were to promote: 1. The study of the history and literature of early Methodism. 2. Research into the Wesley family. 3. Investigation into the beginnings and development of Methodism. And afterwards this scope widened to include:- 1. The history of all sections of The British Methodist Church that United in 1932. 2. Other Wesleyan and Methodist denominations.
This is a wide ranging, nationally important resource comprising over 13,000 books and archive items collected by the Yorkshire branch of the Wesley Historical Society. Items include Methodist Magazines, Conference Reports, Class Tickets, Biographies of prominent and interesting members of the Methodist Church and various documents relating to chapel events. Histories of many of the chapels are included although no registers are held in this resource. The Collection also has circuit plans, books, postcards and photographs showing individual Ministers, churches and various outings or events held by the Methodists, directories, histories of Chapels, class tickets, conference reports, bills showing forthcoming events, Methodist publications such as Methodist Recorder.
When the collection was deposited it was not electronically listed but details were held in a card index system. This is still available as a cross-reference tool in the Heritage Quay search room. The Collection catalogue is now available via our website at www.heritagequay.org. The collection is still growing as deposits are made each year by the Society.
WHS/5939, The Life of Ida May Haigh: The Child Vocalist of Golcar. This book is quite attractive and tells the story of her life, although ends sadly as Ida May died very young.
WHS/11881 Illuminated document showing the historical genealogy of the Otley circuit.
Society of Cirplanologists
Registers of Methodist Circuit Plans 1770-1860 produced by the Society of Cirplanologists with supplements at various stages e.g. 1963, 1970
These plans detail ministers and lay preachers who were grouped into circuits. By 1770 this lead to the development of a matrix for the quarterly scheme of appointments which in turn formed into a directory showing preacher’s names, addresses details of chapels and other information. The Cirplanologists study these and they publish their research which is useful for family research.
Many of the collections in Heritage Quay demonstrate the ways that women sought opportunities to acquire education and build more independent and prosperous lives for themselves. From the early part of the 19th century the records of the Huddersfield Female Educational Institute and subsequent incarnations of the Technical Colleges demonstrate how education for women transformed from the traditional ‘female’ skills of cookery and needlework, to more academic and industrial courses and how opportunities to pursue technical and higher education increasingly began to open up to them.
The experience of women in employment can be examined through the oral histories of nurses gathered in the Graham Thurgood archive, and documents relating to women’s employment in nursing and midwifery (Huddersfield Royal Infirmary archive; Ruby Ward archive). Women as advocates, both politically and for social causes, e.g. pensioners rights, can be traced through the records of women’s groups in political parties (Colne Valley, Denby Dale and Huddersfield Labour Parties) or in individual collections (Noreen Logan archive). While the extensive arts and music collections at Heritage Quay (British Music Collection, Mikron Theatre Company, Huddersfield Amateur Operatic Society…) contain an immeasurable number of stories that reveal the lives, careers and influence of women on the national and international cultural landscape.
The Rugby Football League (RFL) was founded in Huddersfield in 1895, so it is fitting that the archives of the RFL, the Huddersfield Past Players Association, the Up and Under oral history project and the papers of MEP Terry Wynn, can be accessed in Heritage Quay.
The rugby league collections present an unmatched history of the sport through unique documents such as minute books, player registers and correspondence. There is also the opportunity to get close to rare match programmes, photographs, tickets and one-of-a-kind shirts, caps and balls.
The archives offer a fascinating insight into social history from the late 19th century to the present day. At Heritage Quay you can explore the history and identity of the working classes; understand the importance of gender and regional identity in the sport; and discover the international reach of a sport born in Huddersfield.
Smaller collections on cricket are also held, including a full set of Wisden.
Huddersfield’s fascinating political history is brought to life in Heritage Quay by the extensive range of collections that document the area’s 20th and 21st century political story. The overarching influence of the labour movement and the Labour Party on this narrative is keenly reflected through the collections. From the emergence and development of the Party’s grass roots (Huddersfield Labour Party Archive, Colne Valley Labour Party Archive and the Denby Dale Labour Party Archive) to the upper echelons of Westminster (J H Whitley, MP and Speaker of the House of Commons and JPW Mallalieu, MP Archives; Robert Blatchford Collections) and New Labour politics (Mick Clapham, MP Archive).
These collections reveal the local realities of the national party political system, and how this system has been informed and influenced by the unique character of Huddersfield’s political landscape. The library of famous statistician G.H. Wood covers economic and social history, education, health, housing and women’s history during the late 19th and early 20th century, and complement more contemporary left-wing publications including the Left Book Club and modern periodicals.
The largest collection charting the history of non-conformity is that of the Wesley Historical Society (Yorkshire Branch). This collection which is still actively accruing material, covers circuit plans, leaflets, books and supporting historical material (such as centenary and anniversary brochures for chapels) for Wesleyan Methodist chapels across Yorkshire. It is an equally interesting collection for genealogists as it is for researchers of Methodist history. The history of chapels can be traced, as can the careers of preachers and the involvement of local individuals and families in the history of a particular place. A supplementary reference library also exists to complement the archival collection, which contains original books from the nineteenth century and books providing historical context and analysis of Methodist history, magazines and conference proceedings. The Lumbutts Sunday School Archive is an example of a library collection removed intact from a chapel and transferred to the archives which speaks to the methods used at the time to teach young children, and the type of literature deemed most appropriate at that time.
The Scholes-Monaghan Collection is an archive of the history of a family involved in Wesleyan Methodist missionary work throughout the later nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These contain personal accounts of journeys to and missionary work in China, and ephemera collected during their time abroad. The collection also reflects the history of a family, with photographs and accounts of journeys through Europe, diaries, educational and family documents and correspondence. The Guest collection is another family archive deeply rooted in the Methodist tradition.
There are also a number of smaller collections reflecting the history of non-conformity across the past two centuries. The Randerson collection contains Wesleyan Class Tickets from the 18th and 19th centuries. The Pacey Sermons contain transcripts of early twentieth century sermons, whilst a collection of books in the John Lancaster collection chart the history of Christadelphianism and the Leonard Smith collection contains books on Unitarianism.
Music forms one of the most important strengths of the Heritage Quay collections owing to the rich and diverse musical life of the Huddersfield area. From the cutting edge performances of hcmf//, the UK’s largest international festival of new and experimental music, to the history and tradition of the region’s musical societies (Incorporated Society of Musicians, Huddersfield Branch) and ensembles (Slaithwaite Brass Band, Goldberg Ensemble) as well as the comprehensive specialist collections (Early Music, British dance bands).
It is this vivid musical tradition that brought the prestigious British Music Collection to the University in 2010. Containing over 60,000 scores and recordings of 20th and 21st century British music, this archive represents a treasure trove of musical creativity and innovation. Whether exploring the works of high-profile composers such as Britten, Tippett, Birtwistle, Weir, Maxwell Davies, and Turnage, or investigating the unpublished or currently emerging composers on the contemporary music scene, a wealth of inspiration awaits.