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.”
We are delighted to announce our research room is now open on Mondays and Tuesdays 09.30- 17.00 for pre-booked appointments. We are also able to offer online appointments on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10-11am and 3-4pm.
THE UK experiences of people of African-Caribbean descent over four generations are charted and explored in an ambitious new film that draws on more than 80 newly-recorded interviews with individuals whose ages range from 11 to well over 80. It focusses on the African-Caribbean descent community in Huddersfield, and the town’s University – staff and students – contributed to the project’s diverse production team, with the project archive being made available at Heritage Quay.
Now, as part of Black History Month, the 70-minute documentary, titled Windrush: The Years After – A Community Legacy on Film, is to have two showings at the University of Huddersfield where it was first screened last summer. A public screening in association with the University of Huddersfield Archives will take place in Heritage Quay as part of the Windrush Huddersfield Exhibition on Saturday 19 October (12 noon to 3pm). This event includes a Q&A session with key community members and opportunities to look at extensive displays. The Department of History is also to host a screening on Thursday 24 October (2.15pm to 4.15pm), in the Joseph Priestley Lecture Hall (room JPG/18) where there will further opportunities for discussion.
The prime mover in the project is Milton Brown,
the son of invited economic migrants who came to Huddersfield from
different parts of the Caribbean in the post-war years. He is now chief
executive of Kirklees Local TV (KLTV) and is also studying for a PhD at the University of
Huddersfield, so involving the University was an ideal way of linking
research and community interests. A key collaborator was the film
historian Dr Heather Norris Nicholson, who has been a Senior Research
Fellow at the University’s Centre for Visual and Oral History.
“We needed to put this story together for a wider audience,” said Mr
Brown. “I was doing it purely to give the African-descent community a
voice, rather than another generation dying out without being able to
tell the story.”
As the interviews progressed, the constant theme was one of struggle,
as newcomers from the Caribbean and their families, faced economic and
social pressures, including day-to-day racism, continued Mr Brown.
“They had to take jobs that nobody else wanted and it was a question
of ‘how do we overcome this?’. They retreated from the mainstream of
society and started to build social and economic dependence within their
own community. There was a quiet dignity among the majority who came
here and they showed an ability not to quit, even though the odds were
stacked against them.”
Funding for the film included £34,500 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The University of Huddersfield also provided financial support. In addition, Professor Barry Doyle, who heads the Department of English, Linguistics and History, in discussion with Milton Brown, enabled PhD researcher Joe Hopkinson and a number of undergraduate students to contribute to the project as part of their own studies and work alongside volunteers and the 14-strong production team at KLTV.
“While a lot of the people involved in it are University people, they
weren’t doing it for the University, but working within the community.
And there were people from a lot of different ethnic and social
backgrounds involved,” said Professor Doyle.
Mr Brown added that having such a diverse team was a major aid in
understanding the historical and cultural journey that was being
recorded. “We created a community within a community and learned a lot
from each other.”
The team conducted 80 new interviews and the film includes footage
from 45 of them. All of the material – plus a research copy of Windrush: The Years After – is archived at Heritage Quay.
“Making the film was only one part of the project,” said
Dr Norris Nicholson. “Running alongside it was a process of creating
educational resources, gathering papers, posters and memorabilia, and
then cataloguing the material and depositing it at Heritage Quay, where
it is available now.”
The team agree that the findings and the testimonies from the project
have a relevance to all peoples who experienced migration, wherever
they settled. “But there are also dimensions that are specific to
Huddersfield,” said Dr Norris Nicholson, citing the district’s
industrial history and patterns of post-war re-development.
“Some people we interviewed talked about their journeys to the UK and how they reached Huddersfield. Others reflected on their own lives as Yorkshire-born peoples of African-Caribbean descent. We were conducting oral history and tracing individual life stories, so a lot of details came out about experiences and attitudes during different decades. The film tells a story of national and international significance from a local perspective.”
Story originally published at https://www.hud.ac.uk/news/2019/october/windrush-the-years-after-huddersfield/
During termtimes it can be hard for the team to carry out work on new collections which means that they are available for researchers to use. During quiet periods, in common with many other archive services, we therefore close the research room usually for around a week and keep the time free of other activities such as teaching and meetings so that we can focus on big collections. As well as having plenty of space to spread them out if a lot of physical work is needed.
During January 2019 we were closed from Wednesday 2nd – Friday 11th inclusive to work on two big collections: the Colin Challen (MP) Archive and the Sir Patrick Stewart Archive.
The Challen Archive had been boxed (around 80 boxes) on its arrival at Heritage Quay but because of the quantity of material no other work had been done since it was transferred by Colin Challen in November 2017. During Collections Week the team were able to survey the material and to sort it into key series, mostly corresponding with Challen’s various roles and offices as a member of the Labour Party. The archive was also listed, and a small project identified for further detailed listing of the miscellaneous consitutency Labour parties in CHN/8 (planned for 2020).
The catalogue is available on the Heritage Quay online catalogue at www.heritagequay.org/archives/chn and also on the Archives Hub/Archives Portal Europe. This part of the work took around 18 person-days and involved 6 members of the team. More details in a later post!
We had undertaken some work on the Patrick Stewart Archive in a previous collections week, and took 6 person-days this time to expand and complete some of the work previously started. The catalogue for the Patrick Stewart Archive is at www.heritagequay.org/archives/psa/ – and again, more details to follow!
On the 7th November 2017 the British Music Collection will celebrate its landmark 50th anniversary.
Custodians of the collection Sound and Music, the national charity for new music, are thrilled to launch 12 months of #BMC50 activity. This will range from live events to edit-a-thons, guest curators to composer showcases and much, much more….
“This amazing resource has been part of my career for half a century. I used it in the sixties to find out about new music and to meet other composers. In the seventies and eighties, as BMIC, it became a wonderful library and a place that hosted concerts as well. When I taught in London I often sent students there – the only place for discovering new scores. I have continued to use it, either online or in its superb archival spaces in Huddersfield.
I salute the 50th anniversary of the British Music Collection with delight.” – Professor Nicola LeFanu, composer
A year long celebration
To mark this significant date in British cultural history, Sound and Music will put composers in the British Music Collection at the heart of the celebrations, highlighting the heritage of extraordinary music created in the UK and the wider cultural impact of its creators, as well as drawing out more marginalised voices, including those of women, black and minority ethnic and disabled composers.
Throughout the #BMC50 year audiences will also be introduced to contemporary New Voices, a growing community of composers working with Sound and Music to create new music and sound across the country, whose work is featured in the British Music Collection as part of its commitment to the heritage of the future.
Please note that Heritage Quay will be closed from Monday 26th to Friday 30th June 2017 inclusive. This is so that the team can carry out work on some of our collections which we are unable to do whilst we are open to the public. We have chosen this time of year as visitor numbers over the last 2 years have been comparatively low during June. We plan to spend the week working on the extensive industrial archive of Hopkinsons Limited, the Huddersfield-based isolation and control valve manufacturer, and will post a blog charting our progress during the week: watch this space! The Hopkinsons archive is one of the largest in our holdings, comprising around 420 boxes plus some oversize material including valves and display items.
This closure means that the research room will not be open on Monday 26th or Tuesday 27th June, and the exhibition space will be closed Monday – Friday inclusive. Heritage Quay will be open as usual from Saturday 1st July when we will be hosting our History Festival.
The Plan will be a key strategic planning document for the project partners and will be used in support of applications for external funding, including a £1.9m Round 2 Heritage Grants application to be submitted in December 2017. Accordingly, the Activity Plan is to be prepared in accordance with the Heritage Lottery Fund’s current Activity Planning guidance.
Consultants wishing to submit a proposal must obtain the full consultancy brief and supporting documents from Sarah Wickham, Project Director, via s[dot]firstname.lastname@example.org (replace the [dot])
Proposals should be submitted by email ONLY to reach Sarah Wickham by noon on Thursday 9th May 2017 at the latest.
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