Has it Really been 8 Months??

I haven’t posted since the 22nd of February which is in no way acceptable and I am sorry!! Ha!! I have however been busy, busy, busy with a number of things.

Firstly, and yeah I know it has nothing to do with archives but that’s ok right (??), I have been learning to make cocktails and pour pints in my new part time bar job in Soho. It seems like an ex students right of passage these days. The obligatory post degree bar job. It’s fun though and am meeting lots of great people so if you are ever on Kingly Street (it runs behind Liberties) on a Wed or Fri night come and say hi and have a Tiki cocktail.

Back to the archives. Well last month I finished my cataloging project at The National Archives. I really enjoyed working with such old letters (see previous posts if you are totally lost right now) but I have to say that after an entire day with just me and the criminals I would often feel mentally exhausted. Some of the cases were just so sad and I know the letters were written to cause maximum effect on the reader because all these people had left was the sympathy vote but 15 down and about a hundred starving children later I was always ready to exit 1829 and move back into 2011!  I know this project is ongoing so if you are looking for any archiving experience I really recommend that you get in touch with the team at the TNA they are all really, really nice, helpful and I had a fantastic year working with them learning and most importantly getting really involved with the project. The volunteers room is buried deep in the basement of this huge building. The lack of windows and presence of lots of dusty old books really help you get involved with the cases and transport you back to late Georgian England.

As a Londoner I can’t deny that the cases from the Old Bailey were my favorite. I was lucky enough to have a whole box of them when I started the project and I would often read about streets and pubs that were really familiar to me. I would spend my time on Google Maps looking at the places mentioned and sometimes just felt so connected with my home town and the people struggling to survive here almost two hundred years ago. Highway men in Edgware Road, men meeting for drinks in The Dublin Castle in Camden Town, stables round the back of Tottenham Court Road.  Absolutely amazing and so close to home. I go down the Edgware Road when I come home from work, I went to school in Camden Town, I spent all my university years around the streets of Tottenham Court Road because I went to UCL. It is these type of stories (and I think I blogged about a few) that have been buried in archives for so, so long that I have made accessible to the public again. That to me is amazing.


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