It seems extraordinary, but in the five days of this year's Archive Week (June 22-26), a small band of Caldecott Association members:
- created 551 scans
- transcribed 33 documents (including 22 letters from John and Constance Masefield to Leila Rendel, dated from 1914 to around 1917)
- located 42 newspaper articles on the online British Newspaper Archive related to the Caldecott Community, ranging in date from 1915 to 1954
- added 2 new accessions (one of which sub-divided into 8 sub-accessions) to the Archive collections
- recorded 3 hours and 49 minutes of oral history interview
- completed a 132-entry accessions list for the larger of the new archive accessions
- completed 2 archive collection catalogues begun earlier in the year
- re-numbered and re-catalogued 1 archive collection
- catalogued and integrated a later accession into an existing collection's catalogue
- generated 4 entirely new collection catalogues, and initiated and made substantial inroads into a fifth
- and enjoyed themselves!
One Caldecottian wrote to fellow Caldecott Association members: "what an enjoyable and profitable Caldecott archiving few days I had..."
"It was very nice to attend PETT again in its lovely Cotswold location in equally lovely weather shared with CA friends. What 'hotel window' of a warm summer evening could you glance out of and catch sight of bats, the cawing of returning Rooks to their lime tree treetop nests or a little lonesome Muntjac deer wander across PETT's Barns House window-view field? And, in the morning draw one's curtains and view a flock of Jackdaws clucking in distinctive sing-song manner arrayed on the grassy expanse picking at ground nibbles, alongside Grey Wagtails and other ornithological creatures not a few yards from one's window?"
Archivist Craig Fees said "It's always a shock going from being a lone archivist one day to immersion in a residential community of passionate volunteers the next, with scanners and cataloguing filling the air with questions and discoveries, and archives spinning off into stories and memories, and excitement and laughter. The machines always throw up problems, which we mainly solve by the fourth day in; and with everything computer-based nowdays we could easily use two or three more. By the fifth day the full immersion in one community and one community's archives begins to unfold in emotional and intellectual rewards of a kind which illuminate the depth of what the community achieved, and what an archive is for. Two days in I was asked this year whether I would like people to leave early, to give me that fifth day off. The blast of transition still on me, the sudden extra long days of an Archive Week, and the frustration of mis-matched equipment thrown in together, and I was tempted: But in the end, five days is not enough. This is what I came into archives for. This is the gift that communities which care enough about themselves and their histories to tackle their archives, and record and share their memories give. It's absolutely precious. Thankyou!"