Archive for the ‘Events and exhibitions’ Category

George Bernard Shaw Man and Cameraman

July 6th, 2011 by Sue Donnelly, Archivist
Fox Talbot Museum with exhibition poster

Fox Talbot Museum with exhibition poster

I was down in Wiltshire yesterday at the press afternoon for the launch of George Bernard Shaw Man and Cameraman at the Fox Talbot Museum. It is over ten years since I first talked to the National Trust about the Shaw photographs but the yesterday’s visit and the launch of the first 11,000 images on the Archives Catalogue last week are a testament to the amount of hard work that has gone into the project. Tomorrow night is the official opening when we will be celebrating Shaw the photographer and the work of the project.

Roger Watson, Curator of the Fox Talbot Museum, has done a fantastic job of selecting images for the exhibition from the thousands in the collection. The result is a strong representation of the best and most emblematic of Shaw’s work. The exhibition is in three sections – Shaw the model, family and friends and Shaw as artist and the design of the exhibition is inspired by the arts and crafts feel of Shaw’s home at at Ayot St Lawrence, Shaw’s Corner. The displays include Shaw self-portraits, relaxed portraits of his wife Charlotte and other friends including Sidney and Beatrice Webb and images from his travels including Bruges and the unveiling of Rodin’s The Thinker in Paris.

Looking across the exhibition at the Fox Talbot Museum

Looking across the exhibition at the Fox Talbot Museum

It must have been very difficult selecting items from such a large collection but some of my favourites have appeared in particularly a series of four images of the actress Lillah McCarthy sculling on the Thames which could almost be the basis of an animation, and an image of the Thames taken from Adelphi Terrace, the original home of LSE.

So if you are near Lacock in the next six months do visit the exhibition and if you can’t the exhibition catalogue is available online.

George Bernard Shaw Man and Cameraman poster

George Bernard Shaw Man and Cameraman poster

Digital events, June 2011

July 4th, 2011 by Ellie Robinson

I’ve been a bit of an itinerant conference attendee lately, having gone to three excellent events in Oxford and London last month (and on holiday in between). The first was an ‘un-conference’ hosted by the AIMS project (An Inter-Institutional Model for Stewardship, see their excellent blog at, and which I had been invited to talk on the changing nature of our relationship with depositors. The entire theme of the day was about ‘revisiting archival principles from a digital preservation viewpoint’, and the talks from practitioners such as Susan Thomas, Jeremy Leighton John, Simon Wilson etc provided much food for thought. It was also an excellent opportunity to do some networking and meet other people in the field.

The second event I attended was a Digital Preservation Coalition briefing day on digital forensics, in Oxford. The day was extremely informative and particularly relevant to the pre-ingest work that we’re focussing on at the moment in the Library. Brad Glisson gave a rather terrifying but very interesting talk on mobile forensics – something that we may have to consider at some point, but hopefully not for a while! Gareth Knight gave an excellent overview of the FIDO (Forensic Investigation of Digital Objects) project at King’s College, and highlighted some of the tools they’ve been investigating – lots for us to follow up on. Also Cal Lee and Kam Woods from University of North Carolina showcased the BulkExtractor tool, and brought attention to their Digital Acquisition Learning Laboratory, which provides a wealth of training material.

Finally, and immediately after the forensics day, I went to the International Curation Education Forum at UCL. The day was an opportunity for teaching professionals, practitioners and students to get together to discuss how digital curation is currently being taught, and what can be done in the future. There were some very interesting presentations from representatives from both Europe and America, and we had some really good discussions about digital curation and the role that archivists play. Included in the day was an ‘ICE-a-fon’, where we spent 45 minutes circulating the room and having discussions on training, educating and resources. There was also a ‘lightning talks’ session where attendees had 3 minutes to talk about a particular subject of  their choice. All in all it was a great day, well worth attending, and it’s left me itching to go back to my studies!

One of things I find most rewarding about working with digital archives is the community aspect of the field, as evidenced by the regular events that always come up. There’s a real sense of collaboration, and I’m looking forward to sharing some of the work we’re doing in Library in the future.

Festival Fun in 2011

May 21st, 2011 by Catherine McIntyre, Archives Assistant

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain (see my previous post on the subject). I was recently at a tea party held by the Southbank Centre to celebrate this and their summer events programme marking the anniversary. The party had a band, homemade lemonade and some cakes, which seemed a very fitting way to mark the occasion. The Southbank Centre’s Artistic Director, Jude Kelly, gave a speech to thank all the contributors to the 2011 festival and reflect on the legacy of the 1951 event. She described how the original Festival redrew the lines of who could access culture. Anyone could come along to the South Bank and see the exhibition site, or attend one of the many events being held around the country in all parts of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Festival of Britain opened up cultural events to ordinary, especially working class, people.

Museum of 51
Museum of 1951 Exhibition

I was at the event as LSE Archives has lent some of the material from Gerald Barry’s papers to the ‘Museum of 1951′ exhibition. As Director-General of the Festival, Barry’s papers give a unique insight into the organisation of the huge event and the behind-the-scenes workings to complete the building works before the opening ceremony. Material from the collection on display at the exhibition includes promotional publications for the events being held around the country, such as leaflets and catalogues, and a transcript of one of Barry’s many speeches on the subject of the Festival and what it meant for the country.

Museum of 51b

Some of the material loaned by the LSE Archives

Museum of 51c

Close up of some of the material loaned by LSE Archives

 The rest of the exhibition is fascinating, especially for me as I had worked to list Barry’s collection of papers relating to the Festival. It gave me an idea of what the Festival was like in action, as Barry’s papers cover mostly the planning stages and the end of the Festival (although there are some great letters from visitors describing their experiences). The ‘Museum of 1951′ features a recreation of a ‘typical’ 1950s living room, a scale model of the South Bank site, a telecinema, a ‘Carousel of Souvenirs’ from the Festival, a patchwork quilt of events from the 100 years between the Great Exhibition of 1851 and the Festival of Britain, information on the people who made the event happen and lots of photographs and posters.

Museum of 51d

Scale Model of the South Bank site in 1951

The ‘Museum of 1951′ is free to visit and is displayed at the Royal Festival Hall (the only remaining building from the original Festival site) until September. I recommend a visit!

For more information on the exhibition visit its page on the Soutbank Centre’s web site. For more information on Gerald Barry’s collection at the LSE Archives visit our online catalogue (file 67 onwards for Festival-related material).

Gay is good!

October 13th, 2010 by Silvia Gallotti, Archives Assistant

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the first meeting of the Gay Liberation Front in the UK.  It was held in a basement classroom of the London School of Economics where one of the founders, Bob Mellors, was a student. Subsequent meetings were held at the New Theatre in what is now the East Building and remained at LSE until mid 1971.

Leaflet for Tech-in at the LSE, Saturday 11 March 1972

Leaflet for Think-in at the LSE, Saturday 11 March 1972

Quite a few of the early events were also held at the LSE including the first disco on 4 December 1970 and the first think-in in January 1971.

Leaflet for Teach-in at the New Theatre, LSE, Saturday 6 May 1972

Leaflet for Teach-in at the New Theatre, LSE, Saturday 6 May 1972

GLF aimed to increase gay pride and declared ‘Gay is Good!’. Demands were drawn up that included:

  • all discrimination against gay people should end
  • all people who feel attracted to a member of their own sex be taught that such feelings are perfectly normal
  • the age of consent for gay males be reduced to 16
  • gay people should be allowed, and feel free to hold hands and kiss in public, as heterosexuals are.
First Gay Pride week, 21 June to 2 July 1972

First Gay Pride week, 24 June to 2 July 1972 (courtesy of Michael James)

GLF organised events such as demonstrations, gay days, and street theatres to celebrate homosexuality including their first public demonstration in Highbury Fields on 27 November 1970, their first people’s dance at Kensington Town Hall on 22 December 1970, and the first national think-in in Leeds, 1972.

First mention of the GLF in print, from ‘IT/93’, December 3-17, 1970

First mention of the GLF in print, from ‘IT/93’, December 3-17, 1970

Bob Mellors and Aubrey Walter a the First National GLF Convention, Leeds University Union, 1972.

Aubrey Walter at the First National GLF Convention, Leeds University Union, 1972.

GLF left a lasting legacy of empowerment throughout the gay rights movement which can still be seen today at the Gay Pride weeks and marches all over the world.

Catherine and I put together an exhibition of material from the Hall Carpenter Archives to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the formation of GLF, which is available online.

For further events and information about the anniversary and the history of the gay rights movement, see the Facebook group and the 2010 issue of the LGBT history month magazine.

The Hall Carpenter Archives @ the Spectrum launch

May 20th, 2010 by Silvia Gallotti, Archives Assistant

Last night a reception was held in the Shaw Library to mark the launch of Spectrum, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff network at LSE.

The launch of Spectrum coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) which held its first meeting at the LSE on 13 October 1970.

The Spectrum committee had asked the Archives team to help them celebrate the event and put together an exhibition of material relating to the GLF and other LGBT movements.

The exhibition

Catherine, Sabrina and I have worked on the exhibition: we selected material from the Hall Carpenter Archives (HCA) to illustrate LGBT history in the last 50 years, since the publication of the Wolfenden Report in 1957. We also decided to create a display of documents relating to the struggle  for LGBT workers rights and found out that the HCA are a great resource for material on the subject.

Spectrum people

The event and the exhibition were a great success, with many people attending and showing their interest in the displays. There were many members of LSE staff from a variety of departments but also people from other universities in London.

Jeffrey Weeks

Jeffrey Weeks

The reception included a speech by Howard Davies, LSE director, and a talk by Jeffrey Weeks, a  member of the GLF,  sociologist and historian, and author of many books on sexuality.

Howard Davies, LSE director

Howard Davies, LSE director

The exhibition is now on display in the Archives Reading Room (lower ground floor of the library building) and will soon be available online on our website.

This exhibition is a very good example of how Archives can collaborate with other departments in the LSE, support groups such as Spectrum in the promotion of their activities and document the history of communities.  We hope there will be more opportunities for collaboration in the future with Spectrum but also other LSE groups.

“Peace is on Sight”

March 20th, 2010 by Imogene Inge, Man and Cameraman Project Archivist

Last month LSE Archives held its second ‘Telling the Story of a Peace Movement’ workshop as part of the Their Past Your Future project. The day focused on the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the peace movement as a whole and was packed full of interesting talks and sessions. This time thirty students from Willowfield School in Walthamstow attended accompanied by their teacher Jo Wilson. Joining the students were four peace movement veterans: these were Bruce Kent, a former Catholic priest and Vice-President of CND and Sylvia Boyes, a Quaker peace campaigner who both attended the first workshop back in November 2009 (more information about this workshop can be found here ) and two new veterans  - Alastair Mackie, a former H-Bomber pilot and Air Commodore and Donald Rumsey, a British Nuclear Test Veteran who was stationed on Christmas Island. Once again we were assisted on the day by four LSE student ambassadors provided by the LSE Widening Participation team; these were Mercy Nhamo, Sida Yin, Eu Jin Tan and Andreea Achimescu, who proved to be invaluable on the day.

Mercy, Andreea and Eu Jin

Mercy, Andreea and Eu Jin

The day was formed of six smaller sessions. In the morning the students broke into four groups, each accompanied by a veteran and a student ambassador and attended four workshops in turn. The first session was led by Anna Liddle, the Peace Education Officer at CND who gave an introduction to the history of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and nuclear weapons. The students then had a tour of the archive with the chance to see behind the scenes and take part in a quiz based on original material from the CND archive including posters and photographs.

Sylvia taking part in the quiz!

Sylvia taking part in the quiz!

The third session was run by the artist Victoria Turnbull and saw the students learning about design and creating their own posters and leaflets based around the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. An unexpected highlight of the session was the student’s fascination with carbon paper!

Thinking about design

Thinking about design

The students thought about what makes a successful poster or leaflet, and produced some very eye-catching designs as you can see below

Student artwork

"Just Don't Do It"

CND logos

Peace is on sight

The fourth and final session of the morning was led by Christopher Webb and saw the students learning about oral history and interview techniques and preparing questions to ask the veterans later on in the afternoon.

After a quick lunch the group came back together for another design session led by Victoria. The students had to think of a cause that mattered to them and using the design techniques they learnt in the morning create their own poster or postcard. It was really interesting to see what causes mattered to the students and they produced some amazing artwork. Once finished the pieces were stuck on the wall and the group discussed what had been created. I have included a couple of my favourites below.

Stop Racism

Peace in Palestine

During the session, Sylvia tried to teach me how to make an origami peace crane with not much success! Here she is showing Alastair how to make one.

Sylvia making a peace crane with Alastair

Sylvia making a peace crane with Alastair

The last workshop of the day was a Question and Answer session chaired by Christopher. It kicked off with the students presenting the veteran who had accompanied them in the morning to the rest of the group. The veterans then formed a panel and were quizzed on their experiences and memories by the students. Some really insightful questions were asked and it was fascinating to hear the veterans’ stories, including Don’s tale of sending a coconut home from Christmas Island as a present and Alastair’s account of flying a Vulcan Bomber. The session was recorded and hopefully clips from both workshops will be available online soon. For me it was great to meet the people ‘behind’ the archive, as I have recently finished the cataloguing of the papers of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

The day brought to an end a really interesting project and one I really enjoyed working on. It was great to work with different partners and organisations and to meet such a variety of people. It gave those involved a chance to see what an archive is really like and to learn more about peace campaigning.