Outside The Box is our podcast series. We explore the wide variety of archives and the wonders they contain.
Explore Your Archive podcast talks to the people who work in and with archives. The podcast is presented by Deborah Mason and produced by Lily Colgan.
If you would like to feature on the podcast, please Contact Us – at the bottom of the page.
Outside the Box – Series 1
Our first series has everything from female boxing matches, live theatre streaming in the 19th century, Dennis the Menace and suffragette protest, although not all in the same archive!
Outside the Box – Series 1, Episode 11
Black Cultural Archives – Melba Wilson Papers
Melba Wilson’s career spans over 40 years in national and regional mental health programmes, policy units and services. She worked in grassroot and community activism alongside formal policy work and leadership.
Rhoda Boateng from the Black Cultural Archives in London takes us through the paper collection of Melba Wilson.
Please note this podcast contains upsetting material concerning racism and mental health.
Outside the Box – Series 1, Episode 10
What’s in the Box? – Riverside Studios
The history of the Riverside Studios from TV and film with iconic programmes like Dr Who to stand out theatre performances, from stars in the making.
Archivist Hope Fulton has just begun to explore and catalogue over 300 boxes of archive material at the Studios. She takes us through.
Outside the box – Series 1, Episode 9
The Circus and the Fair are coming to town – The National Fairground and Circus Archive
The fairground industry furthered education of the 19th century poor and promoted female boxing as a sport. It also showcased and played a role in developing technological innovations.
Arantza Barrutia manager at the National Fairground and Circus Archive Collections takes us through.
Outside the Box – Series 1, Episode 8
Below stairs at Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace is one of the grandest stately home of England but the history of those who have worked at the palace and on the estate is lesser known.
Alexa Frost, archivist at Blenheim Palace talks us through the long term staff database project. Much of the archive at Blenheim is private but the staff database will eventually be a searchable resource for anyone with an interest in ‘below stairs’ social history.
Outside the Box – Series 1, Episode 7
Friendship and social campaigning – 19th Century students at Edge Hill University
These wonderful records are from a time when the University was an all-women non-denominational teacher training college. They give a fascinating insight into the lives of the students and Jack’s research goes further to trace what happened to them next.
From Edge Hill University Dan Copley (Archivist), Jack Bennett (Archive Intern) and Grace Marks (PhD Student and Graduate Teaching Assistant) explore the student records and friendship books from the end of the 19th Century and beginning of the 20th Century.
- The friendship books all have been digitised (rabbit-hole warning! They are fascinating and will suck you in!)
- The Animals of Edge Hill University’s Friendship Books
Outside the Box – Series 1, Episode 6
Not just Dennis the Menace – DC Thomson
David Powell, Archive Manager, talks iconic comics. He also gives a rounder view of this long-established Dundee media company world famous for publishing the Beano and The People’s Friend.
It is on the other hand less known for its range of local newspapers, magazines portfolio, and the teen read of a certain age of women: Jackie. David talks about how the archives serves the business and some of the exhibition projects with which he has been involved.
- Send enquiries the archive is not open to the public but researchers can write in.
Outside the Box – Series 1, Episode 5
Breaking into the corridors of power – Parliamentary Archives
Discover highlights from the stories of suffragettes and suffragists, find out why Jeremy Corbyn was tiptoeing through parliament with an electric drill and how you get a banner through a metal grill.
Mari Takayanagi, Senior Archivist at the Parliamentary Archives talks us through.
Outside the Box – Series 1, Episode 4
The inspiring history of the Disability Arts movement – The National Disability Art Collection and Archive
The stories of the inspirational people involved in the disability arts movement over the years.
Project Archivist Alex Cowan shows us how the archive tells their stories.
Outside the Box – Series 1, Episode 3
Live streaming before the internet – BT and Electrophone
The history of the Electrophone, the first UK based theatre (and church service) streaming device dates back to the late 19th century and is kept in the BT Group Archives.
Natasha Kitcher and Anne Archer (Head of BT Group Archives) tell the story of the Electrophone and some other early tech.
If you thought that live streaming theatre performances came in with the internet then you are in for a surprise.
Outside the Box – Series 1, Episode 2
Putting yourself into the archive – Workie Ticket Theatre
JoJo Kirtley, founder and co-artistic director of Workie Ticket Theatre tells the story of how, over the course of several lockdowns she worked with the communities of North Tyneside to ensure that their voices and their stories of the COVID-19 pandemic would be part of the future history of our times. Listen in to find out how she did it and why Workie Ticket Theatre won the Community Archives and Heritage Group overall award for 2022.
Outside the Box – Series 1, Episode 1
Seven hundred years of history restored to the Irish nation – Beyond 2022- The Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland
Zoe Reid, Keeper of the National Archives in Ireland, tells the story of how the Public Record Office was destroyed in 1922 and how in 2022 the Virtual Record Treasury of Ireland has recreated a significant part of the lost records – some through conservation, some through obtaining digital copies of records held by other organisations around the world.
(rabbit hole warning – browse to your hearts content in this virtual reality reading room but it may take over your life!)