Tag Archives: archives

Hush-hush no more

The award itself

The award itself

Now when there was a press release and everything, I no longer have to keep quiet. Do you remember the big thing we were all preparing for? Well, now I can tell you that we won an award for all our volunteering work from Archives and Records Association. And it is actually a national thing- the Archive Volunteering Award. The judges were unanimous and were very impressed that we did so much with so little.
There was the award presenting ceremony in our archives, that’s why we all worked so hard. That evening the room was full of big wigs: we had three people from ARA presenting the award, guests from the Plymouth’s Volunteer Centre and other outside organizations, various people from different Marjon’s departments and even out vice-chancellor. We wanted to show our guest all the projects we made and when it was put all in one room it was a lot. When you work week-to-week on your part of the project, helping other volunteers with one thing or another, you really miss the scope of the whole undertaking. You think about your project as that small thing that you do for the reasons of your own and don’t give it a second thought. But the world is watching and then you realize: whatever you do has an impact.
But don’t take my word for all of it. Check it out for yourself:
http://www.archives.org.uk/ara-in-action/news/557-university-of-st-mark-and-st-john-wins-2014-national-volunteering-award.html

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Filed under Marjon pride, volunteers

Displays’ aftermath

Recently I have seen how much care goes in the preparation of a display. But what happens when everything is over and the display is taken down? I never thought of asking that question, but the answer is: they land in a big box. 🙂
I busied myself recently with sifting through what have left after a dozen of displays. The pictures, dummy prints, labels- all mixed up thoroughly with the paper decorations. The winter stars with remembrance poppies, blue tack sticking to everything like ancient toothpaste. In short- huge mess. It fell to me to separate the wheat from the chaff and see if there is anything useful in the tangled jungle of old papers. Good display materials on one pile, fatigued on the other, scrap paper to the side… It took me three hours to see the bottom of the box. Maybe I missed my calling; maybe I should have become a saint.:-)
It might be good if we could do that early on. Dismantle, sort, put away. Some places have people employed just to do that. Then we would have one label stating who Kay-Shuttleworth was, instead of the four I found. 🙂 But in the end, that kind of work wasn’t without its rewards. I got to see new pictures, read what questions were put in the exams in early 1900s’ and found some interesting subject for future posts. Overall- a day well spent.
In a way, a display is like a Buddhist sand mandala- built to be seen for a short period of time, and then dismantled. It is impermanent, so go see one while you can. It will become a pile materials soon enough.

Displays dismantled- when the learning becomes papercut hazard

Displays dismantled- when the learning becomes papercut hazard

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Displaying Our Memory

When I made post about the black history month, I mentioned that I am going to write about our displaying capabilities. Sadly, I have to say that they are very inadequate. When I asked around if people saw the display, the answer was more often ‘no’ than ‘yes’. I can’t really blame them, as the location and the equipment are hardly adequate. Don’t get me wrong. I think that both archives and library staff are doing the best they can with what they got. However, what they got is hardly enough. A glass cabinet displays that is tough to look into and one ‘bible stand’ is all there is to put up a display.

When I was young I went to a school that was located in a city that was very young, less than seventy years. The school was the first to be opened in this young city and was not much more than fifty years old. Even though their history was not very long, they still managed to have a ‘memory hall’- a specially prepared room to house the display of their mementoes. Wouldn’t you agree that as a school with long history and prestige, we deserve to have a ‘memory hall’? I think that it would be a great idea. We could share it of course and use it to display other things, the work of the art students perhaps? The visitors on the Open Days could clearly see that we’re to be treated seriously and that we’re proud of what we are. Our memory deserves better than to be hidden away or relegated to the corner of a busy corridor.

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Hello And Welcome!

Hello and welcome to the blog. Here is where I explore the archives of the University of St. Mark and St. John to bring you the most juicy and interesting fact from the past of our great alma mater.

Not many of us students know much about our archives or that we actually have one of those. I was guilty of it myself, but now I think it is a great shame. We have a long and rich history and should be proud of it! I will take it upon myself to bring to light the most interesting, entertaining or inspiring facts and memorabilia connected to Marjon’s history.

My first visit to the archives turned out to be a great surprise. It is located on the third floor of the library (yes, the library has a third floor, who knew right?:-), tucked at the very end of the corridor.

Those who imagine the archives as a long space filled with shelves that stretch for as far as the eye can see would be disappointed. There is just one small room, but it is filled to the brim with the memories and mementoes of those that came before us.

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