The Royle Collection: Antsy arrivals - Who do we think we are?

Pearce, Cathie, Catalani, Anna, Patterson, Rebecca and Evans, Stephen (2019) The Royle Collection: Antsy arrivals - Who do we think we are? In: AHRC Connected Communities Heritage Network Symposium Proceedings 2018, 29th June 2018, Leicester.

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The Royle Collection: Antsy arrivals–Who do we think we are?
Workshop contribution to the Connected Communities symposium, Leicester 29th June 2018, pp. 28-31

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This paper presents the birth of a project which seeks to explore the ways in which a set of objects might be archived by community members themselves. Traditional approaches to archiving pay little attention to how materials might be selected, created and arrived at. The Royle Collection is the name of a collection of over 500 objects, which at the moment are kept in the Wythenshawe Library, in Greater Manchester. The collection has not been rationalized since it was donated to the Library and to date it has not been archived or managed. Throught his project, we aim to explore the emergent possibilities in bringing together different types of knowledge (local history, curators, researchers with different community groupings eg. young and old) andskills, to coconstruct new archival and curatorial practices. In specific terms, we intend to question what is an archive? what its purpose might be? and how might it benefit and engage local communities?
We reflect on our workshop and try to illustrate what can happen in such openings. The first point focuses on our collective memories of doing the workshop. The second focuses on insights that were gained from the workshop participants themselves and illustrates that although the materials might be static, there is “movement written all over them” (Mereweather 2006, p186). The paper concludes by addressing the underpinning question of the project and of the workshop itself: Who do we think we are? How can we become actors and collaborators rather than clerks and gatekeepers when considering and handling the collection? The workshop has been devised with these questions in mind and has drawn from Heath cote’s (1995) notion of “Mantle of the Expert”.

Keywords:archives, knowledge production, silence
Subjects:L Social studies > L900 Others in Social studies
W Creative Arts and Design > W400 Drama
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Design)
ID Code:36646
Deposited On:07 Aug 2019 08:28

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