I spent the whole of February working at Hackney Archives. This local authority Archive contains all documents relating to the borough of Hackney. Based at Dalston Junction, I rode the number 56 bus everyday to work on the historic photographic collection held by the archive. My role was to clean up and restructure the metadata held by the archive collection system. The photographs will then be taken to the Digital Preservation company Max Communications who specialise in digitising large archival photographic collections.
Once the photographs are digitised Hackney Archives are able to give digital access to the thousands of fascinating images that they currently hold from the 18th to 21st centuries. It was great to have the opportunity to be a part of the process to make this happen.
I worked with a small team of Archivists who were absolutely wonderful and made my short time working with them very memorable and welcoming. It’s a fascinating archive with community firmly at its heart. I witnessed several community and outreach projects while I was there, with visitors using documents to delve deeper into their own personal social history.
I felt like a bit of an expert on the area even after the first week. As I travelled back and fore to work I saw the areas from the photographs on my route and I began to have an affinity with Hackney, its people, its businesses and industry. I was also very interested to learn about the many social housing projects that sprung up from the 1930s to the 1970s in the borough and I was fortunate to work with many photographs from the 1950s that covered these new urban living spaces.
It was great to be back working at a local authority archive again and I felt privileged to work with such a unique collection of photographs that will have a new lease of life in the digital world once the project is completed.
It’s The Clash at Victoria Park in 1978!
Images copyright of Hackney Archives, Hackney Borough Council.