Heritage Open Days: The Richard Roberts Archive

It was great to hear about the Richard Roberts Archive, and their experience at the Heritage Open Day in September. Angie Thompson of the archive tells us about the weekend.

The Richard Roberts Archive is a specialist advertising archive in Stockport which houses extensive collections of printed advertising from the last 100+ years. Its collections span a wide variety of industries and subjects, motoring and transportation being a key interest. Presented with a comfortable home-from-home reading room it is a hidden gem for public and social history researchers.

On Saturday 10th and Monday 13th of September, the archive took part in a national history festival backed by the National Trust called “Heritage Open Days”. This annual event is free to enter and is advertised via their website http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk. The requirements for inclusion are simply that the venue is of historical or heritage interest and completely free to attend.

Open Day Visitors

It was decided that two workshops would be offered on Saturday and a talk be offered on the Monday open evening. The workshops were run by Richard Roberts and Dr Craig Horner. Both offered a fascinating opportunity to learn more about the timeline of printed advertising and how to use the archive for research purposes. The talk given at the open evening was by historian and author Peter Moss and was about how he selected advertisements from the archive for a book on Rolls-Royce promotion. All were well received by the many people who attended the events.

The trustees of the Richard Roberts Archive

In addition to the workshops, a café was organised by Angie Thompson which raised much-needed funds to install new lighting between the archive stacks. This was made possible by a generous donation of serving equipment by Manchester Metropolitan University’s catering team and the baking skills of trustees Richard and Angie.

The Hive Cafe

The event was a great opportunity to welcome visitors to the archive, to talk about the items within our collections and discuss volunteer opportunities. The archive will be taking what was learned from this year’s event and applied it to next year.

You could be involved too. The archive is always looking for volunteers to assist with the running of the archive, both day-to-day and for special one-off events such as the Heritage Open Days event. Get in touch today to discuss how you can get involved.

We recorded a podcast episode with Richard Roberts earlier in the year which you can listen to here. Learn more about their work and get in touch with them.

Give the archive a follow on twitter.

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