Humans like to make their mark
Not many people know this; there is a little time capsule, of sorts, secreted in the new Heritage Hub. It is on a wall, once a doorway, which has been bricked up by the builders. Each of the bricks has been signed and dated by staff at Gloucestershire Archives, as well as by several volunteers and partners. Some have embellished their signatures with little line drawings, others have written a message as to how long they have worked here. Another simply says, “Welcome!”, and underneath each name is the person’s job title or role.
The bricked-up doorway is unlikely to be revealed until major renovations take place again – in 100 years? 200 years? Who knows, but there is a little piece of our shared team history within that doorway; it was fun to do, we made our mark, and we recorded ourselves in the most basic way people have been recording themselves for centuries. I think just about everyone participated; each day a new signature appeared and everyone crowded round the redundant doorway to see. It was rather like an interactive art installation. Maybe in 200 years it will be seen as just another bit of graffiti in a public building!
Humans like to make their mark, and Gloucestershire Archives at the Heritage Hub is full of records that reveal people making their mark. Sometimes it is literally that – a simple “X” on a deed or indenture. Today, lots of people use social media to make their mark (the new Heritage Hub has its own Face Book page, and Twitter feed), and we must be mindful of all things digital, like the inspirational “Know Your Place” web-based mapping tool.
Over the next few months, we will be welcoming customers and visitors to the new Heritage Hub – Phase 1 opened on 27th March 2018, with Phase 2 being due for completion by the end of the summer. They will, in different ways, make their mark on the Hub. We hope to welcome many more community groups, for example; we plan to offer a range of training sessions showing groups how to gather, keep and share their documented heritage; we will have more volunteers doing a wider range of tasks and we will be engaging with different audiences through our project work and outreach.
These are exciting times, as we see everyone’s hard work coming to fruition. The new Heritage Hub is finally open and it is time to welcome new and old alike – customers, partners, volunteers, visitors, neighbours and friends. Please come and visit, and see how you can make your mark!