Originally installed in the moat at The Tower of London in 2014 as part of a national cultural programme to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’, the amazing display of handcrafted ceramic poppies was conceived by the artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. Massive crowds were drawn to the display of 800,000 poppies that represented the lost British and Commonwealth soldiers who fought in the campaign. A smaller section of the installation, entitled ‘Poppies: Wave and Weeping Window’, then travelled to 19 sites across Britain between 2014 and 2018. Many of the poppies have been re-imagined into a new installation that can be seen at the Imperial War Museum (IWM)North from today, which will be their new permanent home.
Next week, Dippy the dinosaur will finally arrive in Norwich. After being taken down from the ceiling of the Natural History Museum, the skeleton cast of the diplodocus was scheduled to begin an eight-stop tour taking in all four countries of the United Kingdom. Covid, however, forced a change in plans, but Norwich marks his final stop and you can see Dippy in the cathedral’s nave until 30 October. It is hoped that the display will spark conversations about science and religion and encourage people to think about the future of the planet. For more information - https://dippy.cathedral.org.uk/
It’s not the first time that Norwich Cathedral has engaged with a different visor experience. In 2019, a helter skelter was installed in the nave with the aim of getting visitors to engage with the building and better appreciate its renowned mediaeval roof bosses. For more on this story and what other cathedrals did that summer to engage differently with their visitors, check out: https://advisor.museumsandheritage.com/features/moonwalking-priests-will-2019-prove-a-landmark-year-for-visitor-engagement-with-cathedrals/
When Charles II ascended the throne in 1660 he wasted no time in amassing a formidable art collection which, whilst not as celebrated as that of his father, Charles I, nevertheless included works by Bruegel, Leonardo da Vinci and Titian. He also commissioned a portrait of himself that is almost three metres high. The work, by John Michael Wright, is almost three metres high and depicts the king in parliamentary robes and the newly created regalia, displaying the return of regal power. The portraits and other works from Charles’ collection feature in an exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery that runs until 13 May 2018 and provide a counterpoint to the larger exhibition of Charles I’s works at the Royal Academy.
Autumn seems to be the preferred season for self promotion and advocacy in the information world. Maybe because everyone is back at work after their summer break…? First off the starting blocks was the Society of American Archivists’ “#AskAnArchivist Day” on 1 October to launch American Archives Month. Archivists around the States took to Twitter to answer questions posted with the hashtag #AskAnArchivist, which the SAA hoped would help break down some of the barriers which might make archivists seem inaccessible. I’ve yet to see a full critique but the feedback looks like it was very effective.
6 November saw AIIM’s annual event “World Paper Free Day”, which asks everyone to pledge to reduce the amount of paper we generate in our everyday working and personal lives. Every little helps, as the well-known advertising saying goes!
This week sees the Archive & Record Association’s annual “Explore Your Archive” campaign with events, talks, exhibitions, creative workshops and activities for children taking place in archives all over the UK to raise awareness of archives. Let’s hope it’s as successful as last year.
This morning I was disappointed to see that the small exhibition about the role that railways played – and the roles that women undertook on the railways – during World War One had disappeared from Victoria Station in London. However, a Google search has revealed that it was planned as a travelling exhibition and can now be found at Liverpool Lime Street Station where it will remain until 29 November. Not many people stopped to look as they hurried to work or to their trains home, but those that did were engrossed. So I urge you to take a look if you’re in Liverpool and to keep an eye out for it wherever it may go next.
My thoughts, views and musings about what's happening in the world of archives and records management, information and governance, heritage and culture