Archive News

Happenings and goings on in the Archive and Study Centre: Events, researchers, discoveries, additions. For latest articles added to the Archive and Study Centre section of the website, click here.

Thursday, March 24, 2016: The end of a fascinating Caldecott Association Archive Week. Barry and Eileen, the last of the group, off after lunch, into the light rain. New catalogues completed. Three new accessions. Scans....

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Things emerge

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toru umezakiThree days was not enough, even with extended opening hours, and we look forward to seeing Dr. Toru Umezaki here again in future.

Toru is Professor in the Faculty of Letters at Ferris University, in Yokohama, Japan, where he teaches American history.  Inspired by work as a Fulbright Scholar at Columbia University, he is now working on an historical project on trans-Atlantic activism of the New Left in the 1960s -  and has spent the last three days with the Institute of Phenomenological Studies/Dialectics of Liberation Congress/Anti-University of London records held in the Planned Environment Therapy Trust Archive, searching for Alan Krebs, Joseph Berke, Leon Redler and other Americans who came over to Britain from the States bringing radical ideas and gathering radical ideas to send home.

Researchers enliven the place in so many ways. Who would have thought Stokeley Carmichael's signature would be so beautiful (see below)? Who would expect correspondence from Simone de Beauvoir? Who would have thought the quiet we take so for granted could have given such good nights' sleeps? Researchers are wonderful.


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How many stories are wrapped up in this accession, part of 2016.014, given by the children of Margaret Barron, who died at the age of 98 on January30th (she would have been 99 on February 1st), and whose funeral on February 16th, held at St. Peter's Church, Shaftesbury, was full of life, music and joy?

The selvage from a sheet of Post Office stamps issued in the 1930s, with advertisements for a Post Office "Home Safe", has been put to use in a time of austerity to stick a label on the back of a photograph. In the practical world of the new Q Camp at Hawkspur Green (begun in 1936), the first step to building sheds and workshops is - a carpenter's bench.


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Margaret and Arthur Thomas Barron met later, at a progressive childrens home for refugees in Lincolnshire called Lynwode Manor, where they married; and spent their early married life in therapeutic camps, hostels, and finally running a therapeutic childrens home after the War in Surrey while Arthur - "Bunny", as he was better known - trained under Anna Freud as a child psychotherapist.

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At work building the bench.


Among the treasures in the new accession are unique photographs of Lynwode Manor, Q Camps (below, in an unstaged view of domestic life not paralleled in other photographs of Q), Ida Saxby's shortlived therapeutic residential school at Rest Harrow Abbey, and places still to be identified. Arthur, who co-founded the Planned Environment Therapy Trust in 1966, became a busy consultant to children's facilities throughout the SouthWest and West.

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For a detailed sketch of Arthur Barron's life and career, see this "Preface" to an article by Arthur Barron written in 1943, "Children's Hostels."


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This photograph has no note on the back. Where was it taken? What was the game?

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Recorded at Braziers Park, Ipsden, Oxfordshire, on February 20, 2016. The slides of the talk are not available, but the talk is fascinating without them.

Some keywords:

Braziers Park, Priory Gate School, Theodore Faithfull, Ernest Thompson Seton, John Hargrave, Kibbo Kift, Robert Baden Powell, Boy Scouts, Order of Woodcraft Chivalry, Woodcraft Folk, Forest School, Green Shirts, H.G. Wells, League of the Unemployed, The Social Credit Party of Great Britain, the National Dividend...

Helen is working on cataloguing books towards the National Child Care Library project. She's working on a collection of books which belonged to David Wills (therapeutic child care pioneer; OBE). Today, the first one she reaches for opens up to reveal a cache of documents David obviously left in the book, which he inscribed "Birmingham 1949". What conversations are there, hidden behind these things? How much is it possible to recover now?


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"Er op of er onder": "All or Nothing" (1949)
This is the Dutch edition of David Wills' 1945 book, "The Barns Experiment", translated into Dutch by A. Ahn. Published in Holland - and so soon after the War!



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The book is opened.



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Detail from the ledger sheet, above. It was re-used - at a time, and in a culture, of scarcity - for the notes and translations that follow. How much of our otherwise lost heritage survives because it was used for other purposes? But where is this ledger page from?



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One of the ledger pages unfolded, and turned over.



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And another.



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The red script looks somewhat like David Wills' own hand, but perhaps not - we need someone who is good at pattern recognition to come in and compare letters and talks he was writing at the time. But who has done the translations? Who has written the notes? How can we find out?