A bit of old Britain pamphlet front (ref: NRO 2674)
As part of my traineeship I’m creating an online exhibition at Northumberland Archives, showcasing items that reflect aspects of the maritime history of the area.
Though I was aware of some parts of this history, such as the region’s long association with the shipbuilding industry, I had little knowledge of other elements like ship breaking.
This pamphlet (see right) is from Hughes Bolckow & Co., battleship breakers based at Battleship Wharf, Blyth, Northumberland. The company bought in redundant ships and stripped and made furniture and other household goods from the fittings of the ships. It appears that the company had an extensive business and they sold directly from Blyth and from their London showrooms. Continue reading »
Encouraging creative reuse of archive collections
As part of my traineeship at Tyne and Wear Archives I have got involved in exciting projects that look at ways of being responsive to public interests as well as enable people to create new meaning from the collections. Some of the projects have invited creative practitioners to explore the collections and tell us what they feel evokes interest, what is inspiring to them and in turn their audiences.
For one project called Half Memory, Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums worked in partnership with Tyneside Cinema and record label Tusk Music to commission sound artists and musicians to create original music in response to the collections. Warm Digits and Richard Dawson, two regional artists, had the freedom to explore the archives to identify resonant collections areas to inspire new work.
Warm Digits created a film and soundtrack inspired by line drawing designs, plans and photographs from a massive 1970s Tyneside civic engineering project (the metro system construction). Richard Dawson took his inspiration for a new album from photographs, letters, newspaper cuttings and illustrations of obscure North East tales.
I worked with Emily Meritt, a volunteer and photography student, to help Warm Digits source the images based on their specific brief. It was important we understood the desired aesthetics of the film they wanted to produce.
We sourced and digitised a few hundred images, including the below:
Warm Digits: Tyne and Wear Metro Construction (ref: DT.MHA/17/1/K624-1) The finished film will be published online in April 2013
Continue reading »