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.
Very many thanks to Pat and Sam of Wennington Old Scholars and to Bob of Caldecott for a great and gratefully received boost to our project of creating a Unified and Comprehensive Collections Catalogue. Their time here this week has taken us closer to our goal of a single, powerful, searchable database of the catalogues of all the collections we hold.
We have over 400 (!) individual collection catalogues and listings. The majority of these are in Word document and spreadsheet form, and cannot be directly imported into the dedicated database software which we purchased (thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund) during the "Therapeutic Living With Other People's Children" project. This means they can be searched manually, or through free text queries; but that is slow and labour-intensive, and not a patch on the speed, richness and reliability that the dedicated catalogue database software makes possible - nor a patch on the many other things that become possible once you have a powerful database tool fully populated with information.
So, in their brief time here Sam and Pat checked 83 catalogues, 67 of which had been superseded by subsequent cataloguing and could be taken out of the system. 12 catalogues were translated into a database-friendly format using the cataloguing template created by former project archivist Matt Naylor, and can now be uploaded into the database. 4 were set aside for checking by the archivist.
In short, almost a fifth of the existing catalogues have been tackled!
Meanwhile, using Matt's cataloguing template, and concentrating on the numerous individual collections relating to Caldecott, Bob created 12 new catalogues, all database-ready.
It's amazing what volunteers can add to an archive! Quite apart from the joy of the company! Thankyou!
Matt Naylor is briefly back in the Archive, bringing his cataloguing genius to the Mulberry Bush archives. He comes across a classic letter from the late Christopher Reeves to a Mr. A. Evans. 'How the years pass!' Dr. Reeves writes:
I have been Principal here for 5 1/2 years now, and Therapeutic Adviser for 5 years before that. The years seem to take a toll on one's hair: like my predecessor John I am losing mine rapidly.
Part of the pleasure of an archive is having comments like this thrown out at you from the room next door, as the rich orderly chaos of history is brought under control by a serious colleague with a fun sense of important things and humour.
Quote from: UP/MBS/02/18/325/02/54
The Stewart De Bono family visited recently as part of the Oral History Society Committee's residential Strategic Review weekend, with young Albert and Matt setting up base in the Archive User's Room. This led Mary to ask:
'At five months, is Albert the youngest visitor/user in the history of the Archive?' (leaving aside the Archivist's children, of course, who had an unfair advantage).
Answers below, please.
"Presented to The Reverend Alan E.A. Hughes, M.A., Chaplain to the Cotswold School, 1954-1959, together with Travelling Clock and Books, by the Staff and Boys, in Hall, 30.xi.59"
So reads the inscription in a photograph album with 20 black and white photographs of staff and boys at the Cotswold School, as well as autographs.
Inside the album is a photograph of the approved school's altar, and of "The Headmaster C.A. Joyce Esq., M.B.E., M.A. and Mrs. Joyce Outside the Entrance to the Offices". There are photographs of the Teaching Staff and of boys and staff in each of the school rooms and houses; of the Housemasters, the Kitchen Staff, the Farm Department, the Domestic Staff, the Garden Department, the Carpentering Department, the Painter's Department, the 'Sewing' Department, the Builders Department, the "Engineer's Department and Night-Watchman", the After-Care Supervisor, the 'Quiet Room' staff "and lorry driver and 'Happy'" (the dog).
There are two more photograph albums of Cotswold School people, places, events and animals, and a collection of loose photographs, including professional photographs of a Cotswold School Rogation procession.
And there is an oil painting by Mrs. Joyce herself, dated 1956, with two boys in the Quadrangle on the front. It is a re-used canvas-on-board, and on the back is a beautifully painted portrait of a woman in a sun-hat. Who is she?
A remarkable collection, given by the Rev. Hughes' daughter.
Hello, and welcome to the First Annual Service Audit of the Planned Environment Therapy Trust Archive and Study Centre!
As you probably know, this is a small (if award-winning) charitable archive service, which has become smaller during the course of this year. Between sins of omission, missed opportunities and limited imagination, we are certainly not as productive and helpful as we could or should be. That's where your help would be extremely helpful: We're only as good as our community: So,
- Please, let me know if I promised to do something during the year that I haven't yet done, or if you've asked me a question I haven't answered, or something similar in the sins of omission line: Have you spotted out-of-date information on the website, for example; or is there an initiative that was begun but not completed?
- If there have been sins of commission, please remind me of those as well. Don't worry about being too kind.
- and then Please share any dreams or ideas about how this Archive and Study Service (or one like it!) can serve the field of therapeutic environments and the public more fully and more productively. What comes to your mind?
- And, if you have any examples of experience of good practice in the Archive's work over the past year, please feel free to share those as well.
Contact: Archive Service Audit Team
With very many thanks for your help,