Event: Opening the Archives, University of Sussex, Friday 24 January 2014

Date: Friday 24 January 2014, 13.00 – 18.00

The Centre for Early Modern and Medieval Studies at the University of Sussex warmly invites you to Opening the Archive, a celebration and exploration of pre-1700 archives.

The imaginary division between the medieval and Renaissance, and between the ‘old’ library and the digital archive, is, as Jennifer Summit points out, predicated in part on an opposition between ‘closing versus opening, imprisoning versus liberating, and hoarding versus sharing’. To coincide with the opening of The Keep, the new home for the University of Sussex special collections and the East Sussex Record Office, this symposium will bring together academics, archivists, curators and librarians to ask: what is an ‘open’ archive, and what is at stake in its use? Through a focus on pre-1700 archives in Sussex, we hope to open up the ways in which medieval and early modern archives are embedded in place and community: in a record office, a library, a country house, a museum, a city. In an age of ‘open access’, how do we share the medieval and early modern archive? And is that sharing both the biggest threat to the archive and the best means of ensuring its future?

The day will begin with a postgraduate workshop on working with pre-1700 archival material, and we are particularly keen to encourage postgraduates to join us in our exploration of the ‘open archive’. A limited number of travel bursaries are available for postgraduates; to enquire about these, please contact the organisers, Chloe Porter and Katie Walter.


12.30-1.30     Lunch

1.30-3.30      Workshop led by Christopher Whittick and Carolyn Sargentson

3.30-4.30      Welcome: Fiona Courage (The Keep)

Keynote paper: Tony Edwards (University of Kent)

4.30-6.00      Panel and Roundtable with:

  • Andrew Hadfield (CEMMS, University of Sussex)
  • Christopher Whittick (Senior Archivist, East Sussex Record Office)
  • Carolyn Sargentson (University of Sussex, and V&A)
  • Carrie Griffin (University of Bristol)
  • Simon Davies (CEMMS, University of Sussex)
  • Margaret Curson (Jubilee Library, Brighton)
  • Caroline Adams (West Sussex Record Office)

6.00-7.00     Wine reception

Registration: There is no registration fee; to register, please email Chloe Porter or Katie Walter.

For more information about The Keep, please visit their website.

Download the event poster.


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