Derbyshire perspectives – reading landscape

Derbyshire artist Peter Knight celebrates his love of the craft of print media with the layered continuum of exploring this remarkable county.  His exhibition ‘Derbyshire perspectives – reading landscape’ is on show at the record office.

Here, Peter tells us about his work and inspiration.

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I’d always been interested in books and illustrated books in particular. I was developing my work with a strong printmaking approach and discovering historical work by George Cruickshank, politically focused and beautifully etched, and other historical graphic artists. I was struck by how ‘current’, applicable and entertaining their work was.

I enjoyed the combination of printmaking and book structures and crucially in the late 1980’s I had discovered letterpress which in my time was available cheaply from junk markets if not from skips.

I was researching the history of chapbooks and street literature, eventually writing a small article for the Society of Bookbinders newsletter as a by-product – I’m interested in traditional forms of book structure; methods materials and conservation – but informing my activity with plenty of references, prototypes and conceptual starting points in the process.

My work is varied in concept and starting point – exploring and recording the existential threat to life in ‘Four Horsemen Approaching’, exploring history and carved archetypes in ‘An Unreliable Derbyshire Bestiary’ and collecting and classifying flotsom and jetsom in ‘a Scottish Rainbow’.

The work stems from a love of printing in many forms.

My work is at its most basic, essentially focussing on recording and listing. It sometimes involves classification, e.g. ’Twigs that say Y’, but my locality and the history, geology and received narratives of ‘place’ are normally the starting point.

Additionally I produce engraved pop-up cards and letterpress ephemera as a strategy to break even and pay expenses which just allows me to keep producing in volume – and they are often, but not always, fun to do.

I paint in my studio in Wirksworth. I show work at bookart shows and print shows so there is often a bit of a cross-over effect of different print forms on my exhibition stalls. I decided to call my imprint ‘The Common Press Crich’ as I live on The Common.

For public consumption I continue, amongst other things, with my interest with the effects of lead mining in my locality in Derbyshire; mining landscape, mining place names, mining vein names, even the names of wildflowers that thrive on spoil tips are fascinating, see ‘Scrins, Flats and Pipes’.

Also it was printed as a page matrix on one sheet of etched metal so references basic book signature structures.

I’m a member of the Society of Bookbinders so I get exposed to a wide range of traditional and experimental approaches to bookbinding. A number of my books have variable structures that are not limited editions; they have been evolving with time, so they continue.

For my own consumption I continue with what I call ‘My Mnemosyne Atlas’ project. Started in earnest six years ago, it is a series of ‘perfect bound’ annual volumes that collect all the bits of reference material, drawing, photocopying, material ripped out magazines, text and found material; essentially the detritus that accumulates in sketchbooks and falls out when you give them a shake. It is literally the material that falls through the gaps. It is the marginalised supporting material that has no other existence – mainly for copyright reasons, it has an audience of one.

‘Derbyshire perspectives – reading landscape’ is at the record office from Thursday 19th September 2019 to Friday 17th January 2020.  Normal opening hours apply.

Peter will be giving an insight into printmaking techniques as they relate to his work in a talk ‘A drawn response to Derbyshire Landscape – printing from metal’ being held at the record office on Monday 30th September 2.30pm-3.30pm. The talk is free, click here to book a place.

 

 

Moon Stories

A invitation from our friends at Adverse Camber:

Moon Stories

An oral history project recording Derbyshire people’s memories of the 1969 Moon Landing and local stories about the Moon.

An invitation to share your story

Adverse Camber is one of the UK’s most celebrated storytelling companies, based amongst the historic mills in Cromford, Derbyshire. We work with some of the UK’s best storytellers and musicians from around the world to produce outstanding storytelling performances. We also run projects connecting people with storytelling in creative and involving way and have been working on projects with young people in care and care leavers to engage them with storytelling and astronomy.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, we have been awarded a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant for the ‘Moon Stories’ project, to record over 40 Derbyshire people’s stories and memories of watching the first human walk on the Moon in 1969. The results will form a comprehensive archive to be kept at the Derbyshire Records Office and also to be used by the young people as inspiration to create art.

We are looking for Derbyshire residents who would like to share their Moon stories and memories.

On Saturday 28 September 2019 our team of young people will be at Derby Cathedral at the same time as the spectacular, Museum of the Moon as part of Derby Festé – ready to record your story! We will be allocating time slots between 10.30am and 3pm and each session will last for around 30 minutes.

If you would like to share your memories please get in touch with the Moon Stories Project Coordinator, Jan Reynolds at jan.reynolds37@gmail.com or 07446343114.  If leaving a phone message, please say if you would prefer a morning or afternoon slot and make sure to leave your name and contact details so we can get back to you as soon as possible.

We look forward to hearing from you!

The Adverse Camber team.

To find out more about Moon Stories, follow this link.

Moon Stories is being developed in collaboration with Derbyshire Virtual School and has also received support from the Royal Astronomical Society so young people can learn more about lunar science. Adverse Camber is also grateful for support from Derbyshire Record Office, East Midlands Oral History Archive and Scopes4SEN.

Jan Reynolds

07446343114

Adverse Camber Project Manager for Moon Stories’  Supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund  and the Royal Astronomical Society

Participation Associate Adverse Camber Productions

http://www.adversecamber.org

Did You Know?

Music

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act defines              Musical Works as:

“Original works combining melodies and harmonies, of any date, which are capable of being performed to produce sounds appreciated by the ear, and which are recorded in writing or some other form.”

 

However, “sounds appreciated by the ear” is undefined in the Act, but is not subjective.

woman wearing leather jacket with tongue out

Take a tour of H.M.S. Terror

Our  Discovering Franklin project to catalogue and preserve the archives relating to Sir John Franklin is nearly finished.  Within the next couple of months we will be publishing the brand new and very detailed catalogue of the collection.  We will also be launching online exhibitions and images for people to explore through an exciting new venture which we are tantalisingly keeping under wraps until we have a definite launch date.

Whilst you’ll have to wait a little longer for our Franklin material, do take a look at an amazing video which Parks Canada have just released giving an underwater tour of H.M.S. Terror, one of Franklin’s ships which disappeared in the Canadian Arctic nearly 175 years ago and was rediscovered in 2016.

Excitingly, their latest exploration shows that records of the expedition are likely to be sitting in the ships, waiting to be recovered.  Just imagine being the archivist who gets to catalogue that material!

 

 

 

 

a lucky letter repair

Here is a nice repair job I carried out on one of our Franklin letters, written by John Richardson to John Franklin in July 1823. It was a particularly satisfying one, as this letter originally had a missing corner piece, which amazingly our project archivist Neil had managed to find! After it had been matched up to its rightful home, I re-attached the piece using a wheat starch paste and spider tissue, and filled a hole with handmade repair paper. See the results below – it just goes to show how easy it is to lose information when paper becomes damaged, but luckily this time we could help!

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Letter to Franklin from John Richardson

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Missing piece of the letter

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Letter before repair

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Letter after repair

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Missing piece re-attached

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Letter after repair – infill

A Week’s Work Experience at Derbyshire Record Office

Posted on behalf of James Slinn of Matlock, who volunteered between 1st and 5th July 2019.

Work experience this week has been enjoyable. I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience about the archives, ordering, locating, retrieving, issuing documents, and conservation work.

On the first day, I had an introduction and tour of the Record Office lead by Paul Beattie. He walked me down into the archives; I found this bit very interesting. Many records and old documents are kept here. I was particularly interested in Edmund Potter`s, (Beatrix Potter’s grandfather) pattern books. These were full of brightly coloured images.

Edmund Potter

On Monday afternoon I was in the Records Management office with Mark Smith who told me about what a records management is and how they deal with enquiries, I found this bit really quite interesting.

On Tuesday, I listened to a presentation on the Derbyshire Record Office. I also spent time working on a project researching dates for historical buildings and significant Derbyshire folk. I learnt a lot about the History of Derbyshire.

On Wednesday, I spent time in the Local Studies Library researching my family ancestors. I found this fascinating and found out information about my family history that I never knew and was able to take this information back to my parents. I answered some enquiries in the computer room where I learnt how to use the card catalogue.

discovering franklin

On Thursday morning, I spent time with Lien in the Conservation Lab. I helped dry clean one of John Franklin’s books, and repaired old documents. I really enjoyed this area of work. In the afternoon, I worked alongside volunteers cleaning and packaging archival documents. I enjoyed working as part of a team.

On Friday, I had a review and evaluation of the whole week. I have now finished my project.

I would like to thank all the staff at Derbyshire Records Office for making my work experience so enjoyable and for being so helpful.

Happy Historic County Flags Day!

You may be as surprised as I was to discover that Derbyshire did not have a county flag until 2006.  The county has had a badge since 1470 but the flag was a much later creation.

It’s introduction came about in rather unusual circumstances.   A listener to a BBC Radio Derby programme had visited Cornwall and seen their county flag flying proudly and wondered if Derbyshire had an equivalent.  Well, the answer was ‘no’.

A campaign was then started by BBC Radio Derby to design a county flag.  The winning entry was designed by Martin Enright of Derby.   The design features a green cross on a blue background – green representing Derbyshire’s countryside and the blue it’s rivers and reservoirs.  A gold Tudor rose appears at it’s centre – gold representing quality and helping to differentiate it from the emblems of Lancashire and Yorkshire.

derbyshire flag

The flag was officially registered with the Flag Institute in September 2008.

National County Flags Day is a celebration of the nation’s historic counties through the flying of flags.  It is an initiative of the Association of British Counties, endorsed by the Flag Institute and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

So, if you have a county flag, today is the day to fly it with pride!

Discovering Franklin: a talk on Wednesday 31 July

Neil Bettridge, Archivist for the Discovering Franklin Project, will be giving a talk on the explorer Sir John Franklin  at the Derbyshire Record Office on Wednesday 31st July at 2.00pm. Franklin’s life was an extraordinary one by any standards, and Neil will be attempting to do justice to it, illustrating it with many visual images of documents from the Gell collection held by Derbyshire Record Office.

discovering franklin

In addition to Franklin himself, there will be more than passing references to the important ladies in his life; his first wife, Eleanor, a gifted poet, who died tragically young , and his second wife, Lady Jane Franklin, a formidably driven woman, who did everything possible to defend her husband’s reputation against all comers.

Eleanor Anne Porden

Eleanor Anne Porden, later to become the first wife of Sir John Franklin

Jane Franklin 1816

Jane Griffin, later to be Lady Jane Franklin, drawn by Amelie Romilly while on holiday in Geneva in 1816

Although the talk will be free, booking is still essential due to space limitations. You can book at  Eventsbrite booking or telephone us on 01629 538347.

Derbyshire Noir crime fiction festival

Derbyshire Noir

Derbyshire Arts Service and Derbyshire Libraries are holding their first ever Derbyshire Noir Book Festival 2019! A one-day crime festival for readers and writers. The event will be held at Chesterfield Library on Saturday 17th August.

The fantastic line up of authors and speakers include Stephen Booth, Roz Watkins, Sarah Ward, Jo Jakeman, Sophie Draper, Andrew Lowe, Tony R. Cox, Caroline England, Sylvia Marsden, James Ellson, John Martin, Fran Dorricott, forensic scientist and academic Jonathan Wright and the record office of course!

We’ll be there giving a talk on locally produced crime fiction and other genres and displaying original archives of crime and criminals – so lots of opportunities for inspiration.

Throughout the day there will be a choice of two events, a panel discussion in the library theatre or a smaller event in one of the library meeting rooms. Due to seating numbers spaces are available at meeting room events on a first come, first served basis. Each guest will receive the Derbyshire Noir 2019 candidate bag and there will be lots of chances to meet the authors and speakers and get your books signed. Tea, coffee and biscuits provided throughout the day. Please note that this event is suitable for adults.

Click here for the full itinerary and to book a place.

Discovering objects

Our crowdfunding campaign for packaging the objects from our Franklin collection has reached its £1000 target! A huge thank you to everyone who has donated – your support is much appreciated.

The Franklin objects have made us realise that we have other fabulous, exciting – and sometimes downright strange – objects in some of our other collections, which should also be properly packaged in museum quality boxes. So we’ve decided that any extra money we receive through our crowdfunding campaign will be spent on looking after those items.  We’re sure to discover more of them as we start hunting through our collections, but to give you an idea of the kind of objects we have:

An Ashbourne Shrovetide football from the 1930’s:

football

A beautiful piece of embroidery from 1937, showing Bakewell Market Place:

embroidery

And a collection of textile samples, including this elephant pattern:

elephant

If you’d like to help us look after these and other objects (we’ll blog about more of them as we uncover and re-package them), then you have until 3.00 pm on Friday 19 July to donate on our crowdfunding page.