We are now into the ninth month of the project – time seems to be flying!
3rd – 9th June was International Archives Week, with the theme of 21st Century Archives. We celebrated here by allowing school students visiting during the week to get a sneak peak of the archive and to get an idea of how an archive works and what material we hold here. Archives can sometimes be seen as a little intimidating or closed off, or something reserved for only the most serious researchers, but hopefully by showing school students that an archive can be much more inclusive than that we might have inspired a few potential future 21st century archivists.
We arranged a selection of documents showing the range of material in the archive, as well as some of the tools used in the reading room to keep archive material safe and showed the students around. Surprisingly the smash-hit of the sessions were the snake weights (seen on the map above), and the fact they are a lot heavier than they look.
The students raised plenty of interesting questions. Some wondered why Concorde didn’t fly on all of the routes on the map above (it was due to most option holding airlines at the time the map was produced backing out by the time Concorde entered passenger service), some wondered what the strange orange marks were on one of the pieces of paper (rust marks from old staples) and some wondered why the people on the photos above wore such bright uniforms (they were Singapore Airlines staff testing the Concorde route to Singapore). It was refreshing to hear which parts the students found surprising, and I hope the students found the sessions interesting!
Some of the images on display for the students will also be on display for this month’s archive open afternoon, on the theme of Concorde: The World Shrinker. We will have material on early ambitions for Concorde routes, and the plans for the high-speed flights to many locations around the world to bring the world together. If this sounds interesting, please feel free to pop in on Thursday 27th June between 1:30 and 3:30pm. Normal museum admission applies, but no extra ticket is needed to enter the archive.