My name is Nicky Crewe. I started work at the Greater Manchester County Record Office on April 2nd. I am the National Archive trainee, and will be here for a year. It’s going to be a very significant twelve months, not just on a personal level, but for the Archives+ project and the return to Central Library which has been closed for refurbishment. Archives will be on the move from the Record Office and from their partners who are joining them in the new space. It’s going to be a very interesting experience to be part of the process and a witness to the developments.
Several new members of staff started work in the same week, so we have been sharing the induction process where possible. It’s a great mix of background and experience, and I feel I am already getting the benefit of working as part of this team.
There are some nice links for me too. I used to live in Manchester, and in the eighties I worked for Manchester Studies as a field worker, collecting photographs and interviewing people for an oral history project. I was thrilled to discover that the Documentary Photograph Archive held here at GMRO is made up of that Manchester Studies collection of photographs, and I have been able to reacquaint myself with some of the connections I made back then.
The City Library is temporarily housed in Elliot House on Deansgate, the same building where I got married at Jackson’s Row, and I worked for Manchester Council for Community Relations based there in the seventies.
The North West Film Archive was part of Manchester Studies back in my day, so I am familiar with their early work and have followed their success over recent years. It was great to visit them in their present home and see how the collection had grown and developed.
In the last few weeks I have been introduced to the maps held in the Manchester Collection at City Library, visited the local history collection there and sat in with a family history help desk run by the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society. We have also visited the Race Relations Resource Centre. We spent some time in the Search Room with the Friends of Clayton Hall volunteers, exploring records relating to the Hall and the surrounding neighbourhood.
Knowing I am only here for a year is going to make me focus on what I can achieve in twelve months, and I am starting to work on some projects as well as helping the rest of the Archives+ team. And I get to explore the photo collection for daily tweets! Check out the @mcrarchives twitter feed for the latest.