I didn’t really know where to start with this week’s article. It’s been a sad few weeks in Archives, Heritage and Photography as we have seen so many wonderful colleagues leave. It’s not just our department – the whole Library has been affected by the changes but we have certainly felt it keenly in AHP. I wanted to do them all justice on the blog, but then how could I when between them all they have decades of experience and knowledge that they have all been only too happy to share over the years.
I still hope to cajole former colleagues into sharing their reminiscences about their time in AHP but I don’t want to leave anyone out so think of this more as a roll of honour of our department, in celebration of everyone who has contributed to our wonderful service.
The first to venture out was Rachel, one of our Collection Curators who joined the prestigious world of the HE sector way back when. Taking her limitless amounts of energy and enthusiasm up north!
I lost track of who left next and when, so in no particular order we said a fond farewell to…… Ela of the quirky socks and passion for photography and plants, David with his quiet love of literature and who is now venturing into teaching, Denise and Jill who rose to the challenge of joining our department during the move and did so well, Izzy and Nikki who have worked so hard over the years to reach out to the communities in Birmingham to make archives accessible to all and Phil who took on the demands of the EFP collections when moving across to LoB, which we were very grateful for!
There was Jess, Nhia and Seren – Conservation staff who we have enjoyed getting to know better during and since the move, Charlotte (with the famous friends) and Amanda, colleagues and friends who worked in the Digital Lab along with Andrea, Sam and Merv who we also had the pleasure of getting to know as we worked more closely in LoB. Liz of the Greenhill Genealogy fame who we wish the best for the future in exploring her passion for family history and Judy, who will now have more time to holiday abroad and bake us her infamous banana bread (even though I’m in the minority in not liking it. It’s ok, Judy knows it’s not personal. I think!).
Not forgetting Sian who over the years has been key in many a fantastic project such as Connecting Histories and having the skill at getting funding for cataloguing which, as just one example, allowed the Children’s Homes collections to be more accessible. Sian has been a driving force for the archive service and we have confidence that she will do the same in engaging with her devotion to research. Equally Paul H who has been our senior manager throughout and looked after us well. The most recent colleague to leave our close-knit team is Fiona. Who, to put it simply, knows everything and is so passionate about the importance of archives. What she doesn’t know about our collections (and particularly archives of Soho) quite frankly isn’t worth knowing.
We will miss you.
It has been an honour and a privilege to work with you all. Speaking for myself, I have learnt from each and every one of you. The service is a better place because of you and I hope that those that are still here when the dust settles can carry on the sense of professionalism and pride that everyone who has worked here has shown in bucketfuls.