How I learned to love cataloguing (but never quite stopped worrying)

After dipping my toe in EAD, drowning in ISAD(G) and drinking in the theories behind archival Arrangement and Description, I have finally dived into the deep end of the murky pool that is archive cataloguing. Continue reading


opening up

Work and blogs have never mixed very easily for me – a legacy of sensitive jobs and some slightly unorthodox outside interests. But I am starting to relax my boundaries a little, as work edges closer and closer to the sorts of things I like to write about anyway. Right now, plants and history (and plant history) are the main points of contact.

My office is in what used to be the scutching room of an old Cheshire cotton mill, a Victorian addition to the Georgian factory. The windows look out onto the landscaped gardens of the mill owner and his family – keen plant collectors, whose legacy is one of the finest rhododendron collections in the country. In the warm and wet weather last week, the whole place erupted into blossom.

Take a look…

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the ring-spinning fairy

ring spinnerThe ring spinning fairy arrived on my desk this morning, in all her art nouveau glory. Who knew cotton production could be so majestic?

We have over 30 of these boxes in the stores, most of them full of tiny little ring travellers for cotton spinning (which, sadly, in real life, don’t have tiny wings). This particular box will probably find its way to another museum in greater need of paraphernalia from Cook & Co. Manchester Ltd. For the moment, though, I’m enjoying its presence on my desk. Much as I mistrust capitalism, period marketing design is fabulously evocative.