Outside the Box – Podcast

We explore a wide variety of archives and the wonders they contain and talk to the people who work in them and with them.

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

27 Feb 2023

Black Cultural Archives – Melba Wilson Papers

Please note this podcast contains upsetting material concerning racism and mental health.

Rhoda Boateng at the Black Cultural Archives helps us explore the collection of papers of Melba Wilson. Spanning over 40 years of her career in national and regional mental health programmes, policy units and services, including grassroots and community activism alongside formal policy work and leadership.

Further information

Outside the Box – Series 1

Episode 10

20 Feb 2023

What’s in the Box? – Riverside Studios

Archivist Hope Fulton has just begun to explore and catalogue of over 300 boxes of archive material at Riverside Studios. In this episode we find out about the history of the Studios from TV and film with iconic programmes like Dr Who to stand out theatre performances from starts in the making.

Further information

Outside the box – Series 1

Episode 9

06 Feb 2023

The Circus and the Fair are coming to town – The National Fairground and Circus Archive

An eye-opening look behind the scenes with Arantza Barrutia, National Fairground and Circus Archive Collections Manager, where we learn about social value of the fairground to further education of the 19th century poor, its role in promoting female boxing as a sport and the technological innovations it showcased (and played a role in developing).

Further information

Outside the Box – Series 1

Episode 8

30 Jan 2023

Below stairs at Blenheim Palace

An intriguing look at staff records at one of the grandest stately homes of England. Dr Alexa Frost, archivist at Blenheim Palace, talks us through the staff database project. A long term project unpicking the history of those who have worked at the palace and on the estate. Much of the archive at Blenheim is private but the staff database will eventually be a searchable resource for those with family links to Blenheim and its wider community – and for anyone with an interest in ‘below stairs’ social history.

Further information

  • Get in touch with Blenheim Palace archives. You have a family connection, want to find out more, have old photos or documents to share.
  • Bleinheim Palace

Outside the Box – Series 1

Episode 7

23 Jan 2023

Friendship and social campaigning – an intriguing look into the lives of 19th Century students – Edge Hill University

Dan Copley (Archivist), Jack Bennett (Archive Intern) and Grace Marks (PhD Student and Graduate Teaching Assistant) from Edge Hill University help us explore the student records and friendship books from the end of the 19th Century and beginning of the 20th Century. These wonderful records from a time when the University was an all-women non-denominational teacher training college give a fascinating insight into the lives of the students. Jack’s research takes that forward to trace what happened to them next.

Further information

Outside the Box – Series 1

Episode 6

16 Jan 2023

Not just Dennis the Menace – DC Thomson

David Powell, Archive Manager, talks iconic comics but also gives a rounder view of this long-established Dundee media company world famous for publishing the Beano and The People’s Friend, but less known for its range of local newspapers and 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.

Further information

  • Send enquiries the archive is not open to the public but researchers can write in.

Outside the Box – Series 1

Episode 5

09 Jan 2023

Breaking into the corridors of power – Parliamentary Archives

Mari Takayanagi, Senior Archivist, highlights the stories of suffragettes and suffragists, listen in to find out why Jeremy Corbyn was tiptoeing through parliament with an electric drill and how you get a banner through a metal grill!

Further information

Outside the Box – Series 1

Episode 4

19 Dec 2022

The inspiring history of the Disability Arts movement – The National Disability Art Collection and Archive

Project Archivist, Alex Cowan, gives us an overview of the disability arts movement and how the archive tells the stories of the inspirational people who have been involved in it over the years.

Further information

Outside the Box – Series 1

Episode 3

12 Dec 2022

Live streaming before the internet – BT and Electrophone

If you thought that live streaming theatre performances came in with the internet then you are in for a surprise! Natasha Kitcher has been researching the Electrophone – the first UK based theatre (and church service) streaming device from the late 19th century. Its history is kept in the BT Group Archives and Anne Archer (Head of BT Group Archives) and Natasha tell the story of this and some other early tech.

Further information

Outside the Box – Series 1

Episode 2

05 Dec 2022

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.

Further information

Outside the Box – Series 1

Episode 1

02 Dec 2022

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.

Further information

(rabbit hole warning – browse to your hearts content in this virtual reality reading room but it may take over your life!)