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Timetravel, Democracy and Freedom at the Archives (May 2013)

The archives is always a fantastic place to visit, Dawn Hurton and her Archive colleagues always provide us with a warm welcome. Our focus during this visit was the Slave Trade and Links to Cumbria. Dawn had found primary resources from the 17th and 18th Centuries. Original lists of resources including slaves owned by plantation owners were available-still very readable. They raised many questions. We realised that women slaves who could bear children were more valuable than male slaves. Some of these lists belonged to the Lowther family who owned a plantation (they have loaned their primary resources to the Archives. )There was also an original slave contract , signed between seller and buyer. One of our volunteers said that it was very sad that this contract had meant that a person was owned by another person- unthinkable in this day and age. We discussed original pictures owned by plantation owners who were Cumbrians, they provided us with original evidence of life back then.

During an alternative session we toured the vaults where primary resources are stored and we visited the receiving room where items are taken from the public and immediately treated before being stored. A very exciting activity was working with the artefact restorer who taught us a few tricks of the trade as we restore a pictures that had black soot damage.

It was an amazing day!!

Archives (May 13)