Our plans for joining the new national Explore Your Archive campaign took shape in an archivists’ meeting. We could certainly aim to create a story box, recruit archive ambassadors and join in the national campaign week in November, but at the same time staff and outreach resources had been committed to our key summer events ‘Helping Cheshire Remember the First World War’. With this in mind our story box would need to be self-contained, self-explanatory and closely targeted to a new audience.
Tuesday, 28 January 2014
Sunday, 26 January 2014
Work had begun to identify and digitise the records that would tell our story. We wanted to produce authentic copies to get as close as you can to exploring archives without the need for supervision. It had become obvious that our box should be a medicine chest, so we set out to find a portable (and cheap) storage solution.
The five drawers gave us the structure to develop key themes around John Haygarth’s work, Chester Infirmary, vaccination and fever, with a drawer left over to add leaflets and badges. We also needed a variety of formats and items so that there would be something for everyone, wherever the box might be. As the plans, photographs, pamphlets, patient register pages, hospital management minutes came together the joy of unpacking a ‘Jackdaw’ file came back to me – it might have been 40 years ago but I could remember the hands-on documents experience of primary school history. A potential 'just me then'. What would our audiences make of it?