In 2016 I write my Day of Archaeology contribution as Project Coordinator for the History of Place project based in Liverpool.
History of Place is a disability heritage project delivered by Accentuate. With Heritage Lottery Fund support History of Place will highlight eight sites of historic importance, across England, chosen to reflect early provision for disabled people through to the first purpose built architecture. The richly diverse, experiential stories generated by those who inhabited or designed these buildings, will provide new insights into their own lives and the prevailing social attitudes and institutional processes which controlled them. There will be a range of local hands on participatory activities, a national touring exhibition and a strand engaging young deaf and disabled people using digital game making workshops and filmmaking. In Liverpool we are researching the history of the Royal School for the Blind, formally the Liverpool School for the Indigent Blind, founded in 1791 (see image).
I started to work on the History of Place project in February 2016. As I’m some distance from my organisations office in Folkestone a local organisation, DaDaFest. We are working with other local partners including the Museum of Liverpool, the Royal School for the Blind plus local organizations such as Mencap Liverpool and the Young Archaeologists’ Club.
Upcoming plans in Liverpool include creative workshops with students at the Royal School for the Blind and the Young Archaeologists’ Club, research with the Volunteer Research and Archive Group, Oral History Training for volunteers and representatives from local heritage organizations and public events to mark Disability History Month.
Each day for me is different! Here is what I did today……..
I started my day with a coffee (obviously!) and replied to my e-mails. I completed my mind map which sits above my desk and reminds me what I need to do and when and then confirmed dates and room bookings for upcoming activities. I read disability related news and shared some articles with the volunteer group in Liverpool. We have a hardworking a dedicated group of volunteers all focused on developing content for a digital trail which will be available for Disability History Month at the Museum of Liverpool. I took part in filming with DaDaFest where I was interviewed for their ‘five minutes with’ segment-it was hard to come up with a ‘fun fact’ about myself but after opening it up to Facebook I found out that I’m a cat person and I love old things! Much of my job involves meeting with interesting people, sharing ideas, inspiring each other, collaborating and planning………and eating cake! While I sometimes miss site based archaeology (both commercial and community), especially on sunny days, I enjoy engaging people in archaeology, history and heritage and sharing my passion for the past. I enjoy desk based research, uncovering ‘hidden’ documents in archives and identifying ways to share the research with others. I enjoy planning activities and events that will help to share the history of disability with a mainstream audience and I’m proud to be part of such an awesome project.
Please get in touch with any questions or comments and consider joining our mailing list to receive updates and newsletters- https://historyof.place Kerry.Massheder-Rigby@accentuateuk.org. We also have a Twitter account @H_O_P so please give us a follow!
Accentuate (http://www.accentuateuk.org/homepage) are a national programme which creates groundbreaking projects to support and promote the talents of deaf and disabled people in the cultural sector, who are a Screen South programme.
Screen South (http://www.screensouth.org/)is a not for profit Creative Development company operating in the wider creative and cultural community. They deliver and lead innovative projects across screen based media and the wider heritage, cultural and creative industries.
DaDaFest (http://www.dadafest.co.uk/) is a cutting edge Disability and Deaf Arts Agency, working not only from its base in Liverpool, but across the North West, Nationally and Internationally. If you’re around Liverpool from 19th November 2016 then be sure to check out some of the amazing events DaDaFest are hosting as part of their festival ‘Skin Deep’.