Campaign! Make an impact

On Tuesday 20th March a training and networking day was held at the library about Campaign! Make an impact.  The day was facilitated by Jan Pimblett, Principal Development Officer at the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) and was attended by a wide cross-section of professionals from the library, archive and museum sector from all around the UK.

Campaign! Make an Impact Training Session

  • Jan introduced us to Campaign! Make an Impact, an initiative created by the British Library and the MLA, funded through the DCMS/DfE Strategic Commissioning Programme, it’s a cross-curricular programme which aims at introducing school groups to historical collections relating to campaigns and encouraging them to use this to help develop their own campaigning skills and engage with local and current issues.
  • The programme is in three steps, the first is looking at a historical campaign, the second is looking at the techniques used to get the campaign across and constructing messages in creative ways, and the third is identifying a local issue to campaign about and developing the skills to run a campaign.
  • This project has many exciting implications to be used as a basis for real engagement with museum and archive collections. More information, including videos showing examples can be found here: http://www.bl.uk/campaign.
  • The main aim of the programme is to encourage active citizenship and student agency, it is an empowering programme in which students of all abilities and skills can have a role (ie: if students aren’t keen on public speaking, they can design t-shirts/badges/posters).
  • The issues raised by school groups can be opened up to peer discussion, to encourage debate and wider thinking around issues.
  • When working with schools, the museum, library or archive provides the stimulus and the material, but the schools manage the project, which can continue after the visit and tie-in neatly with many ranging subjects.

London Network: Skills Exchange and Networking

  • In the afternoon session Kathryn Hannan (IOE archives) spoke about the NUWT (National Union of Women Teachers) collection, which has great potential to take advantage of the Campaign! Make an Impact programme. She gave an overview of the project so far, and outlined some of the volunteer activities that have taken place, including two trainee teachers from Kingston University who have developed a teaching resource from a limited number of primary sources from the collection, and my current volunteer role to support my MA in Museums and Galleries in Education, and the mini online exhibition I am creating about a trip to Russia attended by two NUWT members in 1926. You can keep up to date with the NUWT project here, and look out for an upcoming exhibition in the foyer of the Institute.
  • David Rosenberg showed us a resource in progress about the Anti-Apartheid movement to stimulate thought about Campaign! Make an Impact and we discussed other potential ways of presenting the information. He highlighted what a great example this was, as the Anti-Apartheid movement was of ordinary people, and has moral, political and economic implications, as well as showing international solidarity.
  • Jan Pimblett spoke about working with LGBT materials, and the difficulties and opportunities this presents.
  • Jan also spoke about upcoming events at the Guildhall Art Gallery, such as an exhibition about John Bartlett (painter of the poll tax riots) and Ajamu who will be exhibiting a photographic portrait exhibition of young black LGBT people in 2013.
  • We were given a DVD about Campaign! Make an Impact which we have added to the catalogue as it is a lively and intriguing resource for teachers to engage with.
  • We finished the day by brainstorming ideas for keeping in touch and working collaboratively, the day was a great opportunity to network with a variety of professionals working in interesting, challenging and often financially restricted fields.
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