Explore Your Archive 2019

The Archives and Records Association (ARA) run this campaign each year, giving organisations throughout the UK and Ireland a chance to share and celebrate their archives and records. This year the launch week runs from 23 November to 1 December.

There is also an opportunity to follow the campaign via Twitter using the @explorearchives handle and the main hashtag #ExploreYourArchive. This year there are also daily themes and hashtags. After reading about these themes I felt that the collections we have been working with here at the North West hub were made for this!

On Monday 25 November we are holding our first event, Listening Lunch. Between 12.30pm and 1.30pm we are inviting people to drop in to performance space 2 in Manchester Central Library. (#FriendlyArchives?) Bring your lunch and listen to some of the clips we have made, with the help of our volunteers, from our recently digitised collections. These will include oral history interviews, radio drama and live music performances. 

Our ‘retro radio’

We will also be participating in the Archives+ events for Explore Your Archives launch week. Here a Cabinet of Wonders will move around Manchester Central Library. We will be using a retro looking radio to play clips from the Voice in the Crowd collection. (#ArchivesVoices?) This is possibly our favourite collection so far and we have previously published a number of different blog posts about this collection.


Here is a sneak preview of what is in store.

#HairyArchives – A Tiller girl shares her memories of Charlie Chaplin (RMAN/1151)

#FriendlyArchives – A lollipop man describes the inventive way he uses to get children across the road (RMAN/1106)

#SurprisingArchives – A ballroom dancer talks about wardrobe malfunctions during dance performances (RMAN/1186)

#ActionArchives – A rally driver shares how to navigate a rally car (RMAN/1171)

#ArchivesAtSea – A pirate describes wall fishing (RMAN/1089)

#MysteriousArchives – a traveller recounts their decision to go on a trip to the Sahara (RMAN/1173)

#ArchiveVoices – dialect poetry reading (RMAN/1190)

#WildArchives – A sword swallower describes just how he swallows a sword (RMAN/1155)


Vicki Caren, Cataloguing Manager, Unlocking Our Sound Heritage North West Hub, based in Archives+, Manchester Central Library.

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