I am the Opening Up Archives trainee at the Greater Manchester County Record Office. Working here has been a particularly interesting trip down my own Memory Lane. I was part of a team who collected family photographs and recorded oral history interviews relating to Manchester back in the early 1980s, and unexpectedly I have been able to revisit some of that material here. I am part of the Archives + team, a partnership of local archives who are joining forces and moving back into the newly refurbished Central Library in Spring 2014.
Work on exhibitions and the new Archives+ website means that my research all those years ago has taken on a new relevance. It’s a strange experience to listen to the old reel-to-reel tapes and see my handwritten notes from those pre-computer days.
It’s exciting seeing the final stages of this major project to refurbish the iconic Central Library building, the future home of archives and local studies in Manchester.
It’s also been an unusual time to be part of a public archive, as we have had to close to the public for six months. This means we have been using our online collections and social media to connect with the public. Facebook, twitter and flickr have all been playing their part, as well as the new website and our blogs.