Wednesday, 21 August 2013


Yesterday as part of the project Making Memories, I visited Oldham Local Studies and Archives, on a mission to gather resources to stimulate reminiscence. It's a wonderful place to visit, the staff are all friendly and knowledgeable about the archives and the local area, and the collection seems endless. There are archive collections of original documents relating to Oldham, property and buildings histories, Parish registers, maps, census records... and information to build your family history.
Pince Nez, Photo Lois Blackburn, courtesy of Gallery Oldham

Whilst I was there putting together a collection of photos of such things as local pubs, Whitsunday celebrations, boating lakes and charabanc's... the man sat next to me was carefully going through census records, seemingly frustrated- whist an 'older' women a couple of seats down from me was nearly jumping out of her seat, brimming with excitement. It turns out she had come into the Archives with a couple of names of family members written on a paper hanky, she had quickly come across her family tree already worked on, and was busy printing out old photos of her mother, grandmother and more. They're experiences replicate my time spent on researching my family tree, the addiction, the highs and lows.

There is a wealth of information out there for stimulating reminiscence, just need more hours in the day.

Flavourings, Photo Lois Blackburn, courtesy of Gallery Oldham

The afternoon I spent looking and photographing Gallery Oldham's handling collection. For Memory Boxes to remain relevant, they need to be regularly updated and thought through to meet the needs of the audience. Our next block of sessions are with members of a Caribbean group and an Indian Association, I'm looking forward to hear what they suggest for the next set of boxes.

No comments: