Post 1: Starting the project.

Our community heritage project ‘So that they may have life’ will tell the story of the early history of the University of Leicester. During the course of the project we will: improve preservation and access to archive material; research the foundation and development of the University; conduct oral history interviews with alumni from the 1940s and early 1950s; run training activities; and organise events to celebrate our achievements and discoveries. We will publish regular blog posts on our work and findings. I am delighted to be writing the first article about our activities in the archives.

Improving access to archive material will be a key part of the project. Our first task was to identify areas to work on. This involved taking time to familiarise ourselves with the material. For example we looked at documents (mostly correspondence files) concerning the first three Secretaries – W. G. Gibbs (1920-29), L. M. Sear (1929-46), F. M. Dewery (1946-1947). We have prepared files for listing and set up spreadsheets to record data.  Now, we are looking forward to welcoming Archive Volunteers to help us.

Archive volunteers will help improve preservation to sections of the archives. This will involve: listing contents of files; repackaging files to prevent future damage and meet preservation standards; transcribing documents; and finally selecting material for digitisation. If you’d like to become involved in this part of the project click here.

Finally we are excited to announce our Heritage Skills Training Day on the 24th of March 2020. The Heritage Skills Training Day will cover topics including preserving, handling, cataloguing, and interpreting archive collections.

Posted by Charlotte Stokes, Engagement and Outreach Adviser.