Transcript of video made by the YMCA on a visit to the Cadbury Research Library. Video says 7.30 minutes long, but it finishes at 5.10.
Time 0.00. Music to opening credits.
Time 0.05. Do you ever sit down and wonder, wonder about the wonderings of your ancestry through history, the mysteries, the victories, the bristly grisly simplicity, of journeys from A to Z and everything in between? I do. Recently I found out about my great aunt Jean who, back in the day, used to help soldiers in the war for the YMCA. My parents, they say, she used to take pictures from home in black, white and grey and send them to soldiers who were all over the place. I wanted to find out more, and I would ask auntie Jean, but sadly she is no longer alive, but then my Dad told me about something called the YMCA National Archive.
Time: 0.41. First stop the Internet and your search engine of choice. The first tool with which to dig deeper into these old stories and lost voices crying out to be heard from the vastness of the past, stored within the archives of the forever may they last. So, from the information on the website I can see that my destination is the Cadbury Research Library. This is situated on the Birmingham University [University of Birmingham] campus, and I'm going to need ID with my photo and my address.
Time: 1.07. So, here we are, this is where we begin. Down on the lower ground floor of this campus building, the Muirhead Tower.
Time: 1.17. Apparently they have got articles going back to 1882 [for the YMCA archive], so let's find out about auntie Jean, and maybe discover something new. Let's check it out.
Time: 1.40. So we walk around the corner and straight up to the desk to register for a reader's card so we can proceed with all the rest.
Time 2.01. While we are waiting, here's some rules. They are on a sign we walked past, you can take plenty of photos [some collections are restricted, ask staff when you visit], but just know you can't use flash. Leave your coats and bags on hangers, only laptops phones and pencils, not pens. You can use these lockers provided. You collect your belongings at the end. Music as man hangs up his coat.
Time: 2.24. And in we go. What was it we wanted to know? Ah yeah, 'Snapshots from home'.
Time 2.38. And we can check out the online catalogue and we'll see which bits we need to stick on one of these pink slips, hand in to the archivist and then they will go and get it.
Time 3.05. Now I can't go in there, but maybe you can if you follow him dead quick.
Time 3.11. Follow them as a fly on the wall, into the room where they keep all the archives at a cool 17 degrees. Where they wait in the darkness, each individual piece, a lily pad on the pond of histories, hiding beneath the surface, ready to emerge just for those whose quest for knowledge brings them here in their research. And they've come to the right place. A treasure trove of memories that you can hold in front of your face and trace back to days past.
Time 3.38. And gradually grey stacks of great artefacts such as the ace glass photographs, slides hiding in boxes ready to be put on display. Or George Williams' wedding scroll hand painted to commemorate the day. You can go as far back as World War I, or see leaflets from the 80s for youth camp fun. So for auntie Jean and all the members and volunteers it is nice to know that their legacy has been preserved here for years.
Time 4.07. So if you want to find out more about England and Wales YMCA, then the National Archive [stored at Cadbury Research Library], is surely is the way to get the info you need. The staff are helpful indeed, it is easy to access and can only lead to extra discoveries, and planted seeds for more trees of knowledge about history and memories. You can sit and examine your artefacts in peace, and when you finished with them you return them to the desk in the box they used to bring it here. And you can come back whenever you like, as your reader's card lasts for three years.
Time 4.43. So that's me done at the YMCA National Archive. When are you going to come and see history come alive?
Time 5.10. End of video credits. [Video says 7.30 minutes long, but it finishes at 5.10]