For ten years, the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters has pioneered original archival research that illuminates the past for the benefit of the modern research community, and beyond. To celebrate this anniversary, on 9 November 2012 we held a conference examining the future of the ‘Permissive Archive’. View the conference schedule.
You can view the numerous live tweets from the day using this tag #permissivearchive
The scope of archival history is broad, and this conference sought presentations from a wide range of work which opens up archives – not only by bringing to light objects and texts that have lain hidden, but by demystifying and demonstrating the skills needed to make new histories. The dazzling array of papers included an exploration of the technologies and systems of file management, detailed provenance research, discoveries of 'new' bodies of material and rabbits in the archive. The Chairs of each session made helpful connections at the end of the papers to facilitate discussion, resulting in truly dynamic questions.
Cake or patisserie was available at every conceivable opportunity, and there was much convivial conversation. The day was rounded off with a plenary by Professor Jardine which managed to be both intellectually rigorous and saucy at the same time. The lecture was followed by an elegant reception sponsored by Annotated Books Online, at which a glittery cake commissioned from the Primrose Bakery was snaffled by our invited guests.
Our thanks to the tremendous effort the graduate students made to propose, organise and run this conference. They did everything themselves – and it was without doubt the best conference ever!