So, with the Group Relocation Archive project being granted a glorious 6 month extension, I have been busy relocating the entirety of the project from one basement to another. This time, with shelves!
From 3 levels down to a Hollywood-esque 2 levels down (moving up in the world!), everything is finally together. The 800+ boxes, 3500+ architects’ plans, hundreds of paintings, photographs and artefacts are safe and happy in their new basement space.
Of course it is not yet ideal, much of the material does not fit on the shelves (I intend to cajole a colleague or two into helping me adjust the shelves and fiddle with the space a bit), it has not been catalogued and there is still so much out there to collect. However, no problem is impossible! I am really excited about it all being popped on shelves some time in the near future and then access (and the state of my back) will be so much better, we can hopefully start thinking about cataloging this beast and packaging it properly. And of course, I’m still ferreting around departments collecting records.
FLASHBACK: Remember what it used to look like?:
Now, here’s an exclusive of what it looks like at the moment, pre-shelving completion:
So, to bring you up to speed:
- The project is continuing until the 30th of June 2013.
- We are still acquisitioning material from the Group, and hopefully when they move over to Angel Sq we shall see some more records come our way.
- A first draft of the catalogue structure of the whole thing has been completed.
- The material has been used to illustrate the forthcoming book on the history of the Co-operative Group (as well as being research material for its writers).
- Material is being used to inspire designers working on putting the final touches to Angel Sq, to add a sense of legacy in display cases etc.
- We are also being consulted on the impending 150th anniversary celebrations of the Co-operative Group.
- We want to get it packaged properly as far as our resources allow, to guard against some common disasters such as mis-handling, being knocked off shelves etc, leakage and spills from the floor above etc.
Things are moving fast and it’s still great fun to be involved with it! I was really inspired by a study trip to London with my university, and have some burgeoning ideas about what the archive can accomplish. Fingers crossed!
As always, if you have any questions then please pop them in a comment below.
One very chuffed archivist.