Over the next few weeks we will be posting updates about our steps to prepare for the opening of our service at One Pool Street on the new UCL East Campus. Today we’re taking a look at Special Collections’ presence and projects they’ve been working on.
Initially Special Collections will have two full-time members of staff based at UCL East: myself (Academic Liaison Librarian / Archivist) and Anna Fineman (Outreach Programme Manager). I am leading all academic teaching and related projects at East; Anna is expanding and developing our brilliant Outreach programme, working with communities in the four neighbouring boroughs to campus (Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest). We’re currently recruiting for an additional Conservator and a Teaching and Collections Assistant who will also be based at Stratford.
Special Collections is heavily involved in the new Public History MA which begins at Pool Street this autumn; we’re leading sessions, developing group projects for students to work on and supporting all areas of delivery of this course. It’s a really exciting degree, exploring history in non-academic contexts and we’re ready to learn as much from the students and activities as we can.
A big part of our presence at UCL East will be engaging with our collections in lots of innovative ways, and getting to know the material we hold is crucial. We’re currently identifying items that will likely be used in teaching and outreach and working with our brilliant conservation and digitisation teams to get everything as ready as we can. We’re also meeting staff working in the new spaces at Pool Street (the Urban Room and Memory Workshop) and Marshgate (Culture Lab) to figure out logistics and opening projects.
UCL East is a big melting pot of academic ideas and departments – especially for Special Collections who will be based in spaces led by the new School for Creative and Cultural Industries (SCCI). I am spending a lot of time meeting academics to talk about how Special Collections can support the many new courses starting at East over the next few years – it’s really exciting starting from the ground up, even if it does involve a big spreadsheet to track it all! Anna is also collaborating with our East Bank partners, building on the incredible work the Outreach team has already been doing at East for a while.
If there’s anything you’d like to know about or would like to collaborate with Special Collections with, please do get in touch! We’re always happy to hear from you.