Next week is the launch of this year’s Explore Your Archive campaign, which is coordinated by The National Archives and the Archives and Records Association (UK and Ireland). The Explore Your Archive campaign is encouraging people to discover the stories, the facts, the places and the people that are at the heart of our communities. Archives across the UK and Ireland are taking part to raise awareness of the value of archives to society and of the rich variety of content that is held, preserved and made available to users.
Throughout next week we’ll be joining in the campaign to bring to life the archives of the Museum of English Rural Life and the University of Reading’s Special Collections, revealing the variety of the collections, highlighting our favourite items, and showing what the collections mean to the people who work with and study them.
At 11am on Monday , we’re hosting a very special event ‘History on TV’ with Reading historians Professor Kate Williams and Dr Jacqui Turner who will chat about the effect of the media on public history. Is history now just another commodity? Can archives really be described as entertainment? How accurate is the new Suffragette film? And what’s the inside track on the Great British Bake Off? You can book to attend by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0118 378 8660, or if you can’t make it, tune in to our very first live broadcast via Periscope. (You can find our Periscope account here: @UniRdg_SpecColl. We’ll also be tweeting links to the live feed on the day from the @MERLreading and @UniRdg_SpecColl Twitter accounts)
There’ll be features on the MERL and Special Collections blog. Caroline Gould, Deputy University Archivist, will be looking at how archives will be an integral part of MERL’s new displays. We’ll also be featuring research carried out by local sixth form students for the ‘People Stories’ which will be a part of the new MERL galleries. We’ll be launching a new regular feature, Reading Readers, highlighting the research being carried out by academics, students and volunteers in our reading room, and exploring the fascinating work of our archive staff through a series of interviews.
Over the week on Tumblr we’ll be focussing on some favourite items, selected by staff and volunteers, and featuring some unusual and surprising items!
On Twitter, you can follow the daily hashtags including #explorearchives #archiveselfies #yearinarchives #archivesrock and #archiveanimals
We hope you’ll join us and share what you love about archives!