Wednesday 14 October 2015


When you say ‘archives’ what do you see in your mind’s eye? Dusty shelves? Ancient papers? Drab grey filing cabinets? That’s what I expected when I came to volunteer. We have those of course, but Marjon archives are so much more than this, resembling more of a tiny museum of various objects from the long history of the university. And we have a long history soon to be nearing 200 years. I could tell you about the famous people we have connections to, or how we were the pioneers in various fields, but as a creative writer I value the stories more. And the archives seems to be endless source of stories. Stories of people, stories of objects, of pictures and stories in books. You walk through the archives and pick up things. What’s that? A letter from a man that wants to resign from his studies because he suffered injuries in WWI. This picture? It’s of a man who travelled here from Africa and became first black school inspector in the times nobody would even dare to talk about equality. This book? By a man who was so sick of seeing poverty in England that he went on a crusade against it. It goes on, stories of men, women and even children that were involved in the life of the university. That’s what I didn’t expect when I first came to the archives. And that is why I am not leaving, because there always is a story to tell.

Thanks Agata for this wonderful insight into a truly fascinating archive.
You can read Agata's excellent blog here.

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