The artistry of the archive

The artistry of the archive

Launching our new blog to document the emergent TIHR archive.

There is a story to tell every time people and objects meet.

Orhun Pamuk, The Innocence of Memories

We’ve been documenting the archive project since Coreene and I started tracking down the boxes in 2012, a journey that took us to a warehouse way down the river Thames and where we filmed this early excavation work. Our raw material then? A spreadsheet with many uncompleted cells, a story of a fire in a storage unit and the annual storage fee for over a 1,000 boxes. At the same time a seemingly growing interest from researchers contacting the Tavistock Institute and wanting access to the distant and elusive archival material – a shot in the dark of the empty cells and multitudinous boxes.

To be launching the blog this week represents a huge distance travelled in this project, the boxes themselves hauled up river in the first place to Teddington, the fine and precise advice from Janet Foster our consultant archivist, the exploration of suitable repositories, the beginnings of new research, Alice White, Anindita Banerjee and Bill Cooke, the partnership with the Wellcome Library and the enthusiasm of student archivists and volunteers, who helped in the first stage appraisal. And finally the material gifted to the library and on its way to a salt mine in Cheshire, which somehow captured the imagination of the whole organisation the idea of brown boxes and the cool, cavernous and mineral sparkle of the their temporary storage.

And now we have a dedicated archivist Elena Carter who is bringing the material box by box from the salt mine into the collection at the library, bringing it back to life through the cataloguing.

The rest of this story around the creation of this new object will be continued in the blog including news from the cataloguing, emerging research and artistic practice, musings linking the work of the past to the here and now and news of events including the festivities planned to celebrate the Tavistock Institute’s 70th anniversary in 2017.

The blog posts have all been migrated into this website and can be found by searching for ‘archive’.

The TIHR Archive Project team

Juliet Scott, Elena Carter, Hannah Walsh, Antonio Sama, Amanda Engineer.

With thanks to all who have helped in getting here:
Eliat Aram, Coreene Archer, Leslie Brissett, Pauline Meyer, John Mulryan and David Hollywood.

Our brilliant student archivists Katrina Harrington, Peter Judge, Madeleine Marshall and Nancy Mavroudi.

And friends and other contributors of the project so far:
Janet Foster, Alice White, Jenny Haynes, Lesley Hall, Bill Cooke, Daniel Pick, Anita Banerjee and Livingstone PLC who offered us temporary storage.

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