About this time a year ago, while looking for something to do following graduating from university, I happened upon an opportunity to volunteer with Archives+. Having an interest in history, writing and Manchester in general, I decided to give it a go, a little unsure as to what I had let myself in for.
Heading to the old County Record Office, not the most welcoming of buildings to put it politely, it came as a pleasant surprise to find such a friendly and enjoyable place to work. Over the next few months I was able to get my hands on all manner of interesting items and write-up blogs about them, which have hopefully been of some interest!
From freedom of the city declarations to the correspondences of retired footballers, scripts for short-lived 1980’s game shows to handwritten notes by Manchester institution Tony Wilson. The finds have been brilliant, if a little frustrating when you expect to find a gold mine of intriguing stuff only to come up with a mass of thank you notes!
At the end of last year my time volunteering came temporarily to an end as the County Record Office closed and preparations were made to move into the newly renovated Central Library. Come springtime, after being privileged to a sneak preview of the Library, complete with a West-Wingesque walk through the corridors underneath the building, I was able to get back to volunteering. The new library was a vast change from the old County Record Office, unfortunately though, some of the most unreliable PCs I have ever come across made it to the new building too!
The past year I have spent with Archives+ has been fantastic. It has given me new skills, the chance to handle brilliant archive materials and it is something I heartily recommend to anyone with an interest in local history.