24th September 2014: Creative Media Production students visited The Keep, the site of the East Sussex Records Office and the University of Sussex Special Collection as well as other local history collections. The main aim of the visit was for students to learn how to handle delicate paper and photographic artefacts and to learn how to execute searches using the archive’s electronic database and physical facilities.
Firstly, students learnt how handle paper and photographic documents and learnt about the specific issues involved in caring for and handling delicate artefacts. For instance- all of the older photographic and film based documents are stored at 12 degrees centigrade to prevent spontaneous explosion of the unstable silver nitrate used in pre 1933 film fabrication.
We we also introduced to the care of paper documents and all had a go at cleaning up old maps using drafting powder and erasers: very therapeutic work! Many thanks to conservators Mellisa Williams and Donna Edwards for sharing some of their expertise and knowledge.
After a short break , archivist Elizabeth Hughes showed the students how to complete online searches and how to access physical documents. the session ended with a tantalising look at some genuine documents from the Slonk Hill Camp, including coroner’s reports, police reports and eye witness statements and maps of the Buckingham Park area.
Many thanks to everyone at the Keep and to Hamish McGillivray, curator at Worthing Museum for organising the visit to the Keep and for helping out on the day.