Remote exploration also encourages archivists to think even more creatively about how people access their collections and what this means for their collecting and archiving policies. Local to Seven Stories, Tyne and Wear Museums has created a ‘dive in’ portal to browse their collection and the Bloodaxe poetry archive allows you to create a map based on a keyword search and to browse their holdings based on poem shape. In addition to a programme of events you can join in the conversation wherever you are in the world by tuning into #explorearchives on Twitter or by whetting your appetite with Danielle’s Seven Stories pointers below and get stuck into your own explorations.
This week is Explore Your Archive Week and archives across the UK will be taking part to #explorearchives and talk about the different collections we all hold.
We collect all sorts of material relating to children's books. Our collection includes drafts, correspondence, illustrations, dummy books and everything that goes into making a children's book. We also have objects - the odd cuddly toy, typewriter and model boat. We have shell wombles too(!)
3. We hold original material by over 250 artists and authors.
That’s roughly 135 authors, 123 illustrators, 5 critics, 4 editors and 2 playwrights. As we continue to acquire and catalogue new collections these numbers continue to grow. Have a look at the list of people represented in our collections (the list is constantly growing).
4. Our archive features work by many significant and household names
5. Our newest collection is Michael Morpurgo's
Last month we announced the arrival of Michael Morpurgo's collection. Earlier this year, our Collections Director, Sarah, and Archivist, Kris, went on a trip to Michael's house in Devon to collect boxes and boxes of his work.
6. Our first major acquisition arrived in 1997
Kaye Webb's collection consists of 55 archive boxes and 11 oversize boxes. This collection is very well used and items have been used in many of our exhibitions. Kaye Webb is a hugely important figure in British children's literature; in 1961 Webb became editor of Puffin Books and in 1967 she created the Puffin Club.
7. Our library is HUGE
8. We're interested in the whole process
9. We're the home of British children's literature
There are quite a few institutions around the world that collect children's literature collections but our collection is the most substantial archive of 20th Century British children's literature anywhere.
10. Our Collection is unique
We are the only institution in the world with a collecting policy dedicated to modern and contemporary British children's literature.
11. The first book about our Collections was published this year
12. We don't like our collections to collect dust
We like to use them. Our expert team includes curators, librarian, archivist, researchers and touring coordinator. We use the Seven Stories collection to create many of our exhibitions, to tour them, to provide research access, to blog, and to work with our other departments to create fantastic learning programmes.
13. We keep a Visitor's book
On our blog. You can also search the catalogue and find our highlights pages at http://www.sevenstories.org.uk/collection
15. We're taking over this week's social media
Join us on Twitter, and Instagram using the handle @7stories and on Facebook by searching for 'Seven Stories, National Centre for Children's Books' to #explorearchives with us.