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[personal profile] ruthct21
As my husband Mick has written elsewhere, as part of our decluttering programme I have started to unpack the boxes of political and personal history which have been following me around the country during successive house moves for many years. I am now set up with a shiny new scanner which will record images of up to A3 size. I had to start somewhere so I have begun by scanning my collection of Young Liberal regional and local newsletters. It is proving quite gripping to read the long-ago political thoughts of leading YLs and Liberal Students, many of whom have, remarkably, remained active within Liberal and Liberal Democrat politics. And some of those campaigns are very much needed in this era of national political paralysis.

I have begun to realise that this will be a monumental task which will occupy me for many months. It is a fairly slow process to disassemble a newsletter, scan it page by individual page - nearly all of these are printed on both sides so there are no shortcuts - and put it back together again. Quite often people were obviously too busy to bother writing down when the newsletter was issued, so I have had to use internal clues like the activists diary and information on who was chair of what at the time. I think I have them mostly in date order which helps to tally them with current events at the time (such as the Jeremy Thorpe story recently on TV, which was not exactly how I remembered it from my vantage point as National Chair of the Young Liberals during most of the events described.)

I have begun discussions with some of the Party historians as to where all this paper should go when I have copied it. There is no need for it to cram up my cupboards or attics, where it could be a fire hazard or just simply get damaged by bad weather or pests. It's better for it to be in one or other of the national collections. But the scanned version could be much more available, so people can see what we were doing then and why and how our ideas developed.

There is plenty more: General Election papers and leaflets, a variety of other newsletters and pamphlets and some files of printed minutes (of great interest to historians, if not to the general reader). Then there is the paperwork from my time as a Councillor. I donated my minutes of full Council to the Wiltshire Archive after I stood down as a Councillor (they were very pleased) but there is plenty more....

When I have finished the political archive, I have several boxes of personal memories, which I shall go through, knock into some kind of order and see what I can make of them. I do have a great example before me. My late mother produced a wonderful book entitled "My first 80 years", full of her personal, political and social observations through an eventful life. She published it privately in a short run and distributed it to family and friends. It's a great read!

Date: 2019-02-10 09:46 pm (UTC)
miss_s_b: Mindy St Clare from The Good Place, hiding her nakedness behind very large sunflowers and looking shocked (Default)
From: [personal profile] miss_s_b
Makes me glad that most of my stuff is digital anyway

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