We’re back! New project, new opportunities.

That’s right! We’re back, this time with a fabulous pot of funds from the generous Heritage Lottery Fund. We’ve a new agenda and new horizons to catch. Let’s see what we’ve got planned.

Our new project developed from the evaluation of the previous one. Whilst of AHRC-funded project, “Making Music in Manchester during WWI” did what the project said it would do, there was definitely more that we could do with it.

We had a lot of research but it wasn’t very well shared, except on here. We did a few events but not very many people came. The people that did come, wanted a little more work with the records. To get a bit more use out of them instead of simple displays.


What we wanted

We wanted people to be able to interact with the material in a way that was  a little more meaningful, more personal.

We wanted people who don’t necessarily come into our buildings and see our collections to feel that they would like to get to know some of the stories we found on the previous project.

We wanted to be able to give access to the collections from the project to as many people as possible.

We wanted to make more use of digital platforms and partnership work to do this.

So, how did we reckon we’d do that?

What we designed

We decided that we wanted more workshop-based events, where people could get to know the material and do what they wanted with it. That way, they could get to know the stories in a way that best suited them.

We decided that the workshops should be creative. Poetry, music, song, writing, whatever we could manage to bring the stories to life.

We decided that we would take the workshops outside of our buildings and into community-owned spaces. We would ask local Manchester community groups if they fancied a workshop that we could deliver to their users.

We decided that to do this, we needed to digitise the collection which held these stories so that we could bring as may of these stories as possible without having to worry about shifting archive material around.

We decided that since we’re digitising the collection, we should share the images with the world online so that anyone can see them anytime and pretty much anywhere.

How we’re doing it

We needed someone to design and deliver the workshops for us. We contacted a local arts organisation to so.

We contacted local community groups that none of our archive services had used before and offered the workshop package.

We chose Manchester Digital Music Archive to host the digitised images as well as History Pin.

We wanted a number of volunteers to digitise the collection to use in workshops and post online.

So that’s the plan!

The wonderful HLF granted us the money to do the above and our collections are being digitised and shared as I type.

Have a look at what we’ve uploaded so far.

Our workshops are running through Oct-Nov and we are so excited to talk to the different groups.

We’ll be keeping this site up to date with the project’s progress so keep an eye out for more news.


Heather Roberts

RNCM College Archivist


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