Well, well, well. Seems like the old junk/fancy lamp from previous post is still in working condition, the lamp lits up and the lens is fine too. I actually got to see things that haven’t been touched since the advent of digital photography- slides, microfilmed documents and a commemorative reel made especially for the celebration of Marjons 150th birthday.
I even stumbled upon something of special interest to me, as a person interested in the history of microcomputers- a slideshow that was part of a presentation about role of computers in education. You know, the thing that was used before there was PowerPoint and those horrid gradient backgrounds. Here are a few pictures, you can still see what’s what even that the backlight is messing with my phone big time.
Today I think I’ll make a small quiz:
What is this thing pictured above? Is it:
A) a piece of old junk
B) a microfilm reader
C) a fancy lamp
D) all of the above
The answer, of course is D. This old piece of machinery is one of our library’;s decommissioned microfilm readers, now residing in our archives. I’m not certain if it’s working, even that it looks fairly intact. We plan to turn it into a fancy lamp if we can make the underside light to work.
This label comes from one of the donations from one of the former staff members. It is for a company that supplied medical and science equipment, most famously skulls and skeletons. They were operating in late 18th century and yes, it was a time when you could just go out and buy yourself a human skeleton neatly packed in a box for your convenience. Crazy, huh?
We were sent a whole box of vintage Marjon badges. They are blue with gold coat-of-arms and it says ‘blue’ at the top. What were they for? I’ve no idea. They are all unused and unopened. Did I mention that there is a WHOLE box of those?:-)
Sometimes the archives seem to be a catch-all for random stuff that gets cleared out from somebody’s office. Like this issue of Executive Post- a publication from PER.
‘So what?’ you could say. ‘Shouldn’t the university be in possesion of those?’ Certainly, but this particular issue is exactly as old as I am. Uh-oh, somebody is way behind cleaning in their office.:-)
On unrelated note: hey, PER people! Do you have anything that this starving artist could do?:-P
A private record made at Marjon
What would you donate to archives? Documents? Letters? Publications? Sure, that’s what we usually get. Unlkie other archives we also accept objects, like uniforms, badges, plaques. Stuff that is more likely to be found in museums. Also on ebay, if the original owner was famous, with a price tag to give Blill Gates a heart attack.:-)
Some things arrived that used to belong to John Atkinson, who was Marjon student in the years 1959-1962. And for the most part, those are typical things, a small tower of year books, a really long group photo, some copies of his letters. He wasn’t a celebrity, just a music teacher doing his best to inspire his students. His only chance at fame was shot down when BBC (which he used to fondly refer to as ‘Berlin Broadcasting Company’) wouldn’t put him on the box.
But there is one thing that is unique among his things. You open an envelope and there is this vinyl record inside. The label says: Ascension Day 1959, Sung Eucharist. A private recording of him singing. Not only were his words given to us, or the likeness in the old picture, but also his voice. Hey Mister Atkinson, aren’t you glad? ‘Non omnis moriar…’
In literature as well as in real life, geography has a great influence on people. And the reason I am talking about it now is the thoughts of alumni that visited the archives recently. They were the ones who started studying in Chelsea and underwent the transition to Plymouth.
Imagine you signed up for this:
Marjon Chelsea entrance
And it turned into this:
Marjon Chelsea entrance
Imagine leaving the place you know one summer and returning to it in autumn. Only to realize that it changed looks and location. You’re no longer walking the grounds that were there since Coleridge had his ‘crazy’ ideas about educating the poor. No more stories of Lady Stanley’s ghost and no more walls to jump.
Instead there is a site under construction, brand new buildings built in modern fashion and a whole lot of space surrounding the place. Imagine you joined one of the oldest schools in England, with the buildings to prove it, only to have it completely changed, seemingly overnight. The college had ran the course of history, the old gave way to the new.
But it doesn’t meant that the old is gone. The new Marjon site was designed to remind us where we came from. Behold the cloisters, old and new:
Marjon Chelsea entrance
The old library and former training school with our legacy building- the chaplaincy centre:
Old library and chaplaincy centre
As for the ghosts…well, they say that the third floor of the library is haunted and some people would not go there alone. Although I never felt anything otherworldly over there. Maybe some day…