Cadbury Research Library newsletter Spring 2019

We are delighted to relaunch our CRL Newsletter to update you on recent projects and forthcoming events at the Cadbury Research Library.

Ada Finney in the chemistry lab, 1911.

Editor's introduction

Our online exhibitions on the Cadbury Research Library's Flickr have now grown to over 4,000 images. To mark the 2019 International Women’s Day we were proud to launch a Flickr album showcasing over sixty notable Women from the CRL Collections curated by members of the CRL team. The above photograph of Ada Finney from 1911 is one example from the gallery. We hope you will find time to browse the images online. 

Sarah Kilroy, Head of Conservation and Programming

A Mughal illustration of a man under a pavilion with his staff.

Director's review

It’s a pleasure to welcome you to the Cadbury Research Library Newsletter. We continue to attract new acquisitions to our collections including most recently the papers of the late Stuart Hall which is a wonderful addition to the University’s holdings.

The collection has generated great interest and we expect will provide a rich resource for research for both academics and PhD students. Please see Dr Helen Fisher’s article.

Another collection which is attracting interest is the Save the Children archive. We were very pleased to be awarded a sizeable grant from Wellcome to support this collection and it is great to welcome Holly Waughman and Matthew Goodwin to our team as project archivists. The project was really excited to have commissioned Anne Chamberlain in the performance of Eglantyne the Show, an inspiring play about Eglantyne Jebb, founder of Save the Children. It has previously been performed internationally and at the Edinburgh Festival last year.

It’s the last chance to catch our Mughal Miniatures exhibition in the Main Library atrium if you haven’t had the opportunity to see it. Some of the beautiful manuscripts will be transferring to the Barber Institute of Fine Arts exhibition The Mughals: Court & Culture in the Indian Subcontinent. They'll be on display from 11 October 2019 to 2 February 2020. It was expertly curated by Neelam Hussain, Mingana Collection Curator for the Cadbury Research Library.

From June we will be refreshing the display in the Main Library atrium with our new exhibition on the History of the University of Birmingham. This coincides with the celebrations of the Green Heart Festival weekend on 8 and 9 of June.

Susan Worrall, Director of Special Collections

Folders and papers from the Stuart Hall archive with a photograph of him.

Stuart Hall archive

We are very pleased to announce that the professional and political archive of the cultural theorist and political commentator, Stuart Hall (1932–2014), was deposited at the CRL in October 2018. Stuart Hall was a research fellow at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) at the University of Birmingham from 1964 to 1968 and Director from 1968 to 1979.

The Stuart Hall archive will join papers of other former members of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies preserved at the Cadbury Research Library. The idea for creating a CCCS archive came about as a result of discussions between Professor Matthew Hilton, his then doctoral student Kieran Connell, and key former CCCS members. This developed into an AHRC funded CCCS project which ran between 2013 and 2015. Stuart Hall supported the archive project at its inception and agreed to deposit his own papers once he had finished working with them. Since Stuart Hall’s death in 2014, the CRL has continued a conversation with his widow, Catherine Hall, about the eventual deposit of his archive.

The archive contains material relating to aspects of Stuart Hall’s professional and political life:

  • Papers which provide information about his activities as editor of the Universities and Left Review and the New Left Review in the 1950s and early 1960s.
  • Papers recording his involvement with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) during its first wave in the early 1960s.
  • Material providing information about his role as a member and Director of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies and his teaching work at the Open University after he left Birmingham in 1979.
  • Papers covering his wide-ranging research interests following his retirement from the Open University in 1997, until the end of his life.

The collection comprises eighty-nine boxes of material and contains a substantial quantity of annotated drafts and published copies of his writings on a wide range of subjects. It spans the period from the 1950s to the 2010s, as also contains correspondence, course materials, interview transcripts, recordings, and ephemera.

There is already research interest in the archive, both in Birmingham and beyond. The archive also offers rich opportunities for teaching, and student and public engagement. The CRL has a current application for a CAL Undergraduate Research Scholarship for a student to create working documents on the archive that can be used for teaching purposes within the University. There will also be a conference on 2 July 2019 to mark the acquisition of the archive, bringing together international Hall scholars for a conversation on the significance of the archive for future study of his work.

Stuart Hall’s archive (US121) is available for consultation at the Cadbury Research Library. See the searchable finding aid (PDF - 810KB).

Dr Helen Fisher, Archivist

Student volunteers in the CRL

This year we have been delighted to welcome four exceptional student volunteers to the Cadbury Research Library team:

  • Andrea Hricikova (BA History of Art)
  • Ellen Smith (MA Modern British Studies)
  • Greta Sugrue (BSc Psychology)
  • Orla Taylor-Davies (BA History/History of Art)

All the volunteers bring a variety of skills and experience. They share in common a keen interest in working with the University’s historic collections of archives and rare books and gaining hands-on experience in a professional work environment. After specialist training in working with archive material, they have been engaged in projects involving re-packaging, cataloguing and using social media to promote some of our key collections including:

  • business and family papers from the British Organ Archive
  • hand-painted newsletters from the Church Missionary Society collections
  • a manuscript travel journal from papers bequeathed to the University by Dr Kenneth Humphreys, Birmingham University Librarian 1952–75.

We are committed to offering students opportunities which will make them stand out from other candidates when they make the transition to paid employment. By giving a taste of work in a heritage environment, it is intended that the volunteer placements will also help participants to make informed decisions about the direction they wish to pursue in the future. Obviously it is hard to know if archives, books, team work and a library environment are right for you until you have tried them!

It is not a one-way process. Aside from the obvious advantage of collections receiving extra attention, all of the Cadbury Research Library team benefit from having students on board. It is inspiring and a real pleasure to be able to see the enthusiasm and professionalism with which Andrea, Ellen, Greta and Orla have approached volunteering and we wish them all the very best for the future.

Ivana Frlan, Archivist

Cover of the TOC H annual, 1928, showing a square rigger.

Increasing access to the Toc H archive

Toc H is an international Christian movement which developed from a soldiers’ rest and recreation centre named Talbot House founded in Poperinge, near Ypres, during December 1915. Following the end of the First World War a former army chaplain, Reverend Philip Thomas Byard Clayton (1885–1972), known as ‘Tubby’, established a Christian youth centre in London: the Toc H organisation was born.

The Cadbury Research Library is home to official archives of Toc H. The archive comprises minutes of Central Council dating from 1923, together with minutes of many of its committees. There is substantial material relating to Toc H membership and information about individual Toc H centres throughout the United Kingdom and overseas. The collection also includes an extensive sequence of photographs; a large amount of Toc H publications and promotional literature; press cuttings; artefacts; and various audio visual material. All of this material shows the valuable work that Toc H has undertaken since 1920. It has been instrumental in developing project work for young people to volunteer for environmental activities, play schemes, and work with the elderly, disabled or disadvantaged.

The Toc H movement today is still guided by its original ethos: attempting to ease the burdens of others through acts of service, whilst promoting reconciliation in order to bring disparate sections of society together.

In 2016 the Trustees of Toc H provided the University of Birmingham with a grant to fully catalogue this archive. The project began in 2017 and is set to conclude during the summer of 2019. Our current Toc H Project Archivist, Paul Ford, is working to improve accessibility and visibility by cataloguing material, listing it onto our online archive catalogue, and making the records of Toc H available to all.

Mark Eccleston, Archivist

Eglantyne Jebb writing at her desk.

Save the Children archive: latest news

Holly Waughman and Matthew Goodwin, Project Archivists, recently joined the Cadbury Research Library in order to fully screen and catalogue the Save the Children Fund (SCF) archive. This project will greatly improve accessibility to all interested researchers.

In 2018 we were very excited to secure a significant grant of £187,000 from the Wellcome Trust’s Research Resources Award scheme in Humanities and Social Science. This grant has now further been supplemented with additional funding from Save the Children UK, based in London.

The grant will be used to undertake a two-year project to fully catalogue and preserve the extensive archive of Save the Children UK. The archive comprises over 2,000 boxes of materials including minutes, project reports, photographs and publications. These materials document the charity’s work in child health, nutrition and well-being both overseas and in the UK. Health and welfare of children is the guiding principle of this charity, established by sisters Eglantyne Jebb and Dorothy Buxton. Its objects being to:

  • preserve child life
  • relieve child distress
  • promote child welfare
  • improve the conditions of child life. 

Jebb’s ‘Children’s Charter’, drafted in 1922, would later evolve into the ‘Convention on the Rights of the Child’ as adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989.

As part of this project we will establish an ongoing rolling programme to open up access to files once over 25 years old. Preservation activities are also included in this project, focusing on the repackaging of thousands of photographs and transparencies which provide visual support to the written record.

The outcome of this project will be a fully searchable electronic catalogue which will enable enhanced access to the archive. The project will reveal the full research potential of this internationally significant collection. The project started in January 2019 and is scheduled to conclude in December 2020. As part of the project, we have plans to provide work experience opportunities to University of Birmingham students during the summers of 2019 and 2020.

Mark Eccleston, Archivist