Dr Wanda Wyporska | Oct 4, 2021, 11:03 PM
I’m absolutely thrilled to start as CEO, at a time of much change and great excitement. As a social historian, I’m aware that we often view change with hindsight, but being right at the heart of it can be daunting. And so I’d like to start by saying just how grateful we all are to the Interim CEO Laura Doyle, the SoG team of staff, volunteers, and students who completed the miraculous feat of packing up the library and archive.
We said goodbye to 14 Charterhouse Buildings, and I’m delighted to say that we have moved into our temporary home, which is an architecturally fascinating building, having previously been Jones’ Brothers Department Store. It is now called Resource for London (at 356 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PA), which is a centre for charitable organisations, allowing SoG to access the many advantages of being a charity. It has some wonderful space for public events, as we think about trialling hybrid events next year.
As you all know, when you move house, many ‘treasures’ come to light and discoveries are made. Well, it’s no different for SoG, and the packing up of the library and archive has elicited sighs of wonder, coos of amazement and moments when we’ve just had to stop and take time out to marvel at a book, manuscript or document. The truth is that we really need this time of temporary closure of the physical library and archive to take full stock of what we have and to decide how we best preserve, catalogue, digitise and display our collections for members. We hope that you will bear with us while we improve our services, put more items online and work on our Pedigree Rolls project. We are delighted to have received a significant grant of £50,000 from Art Fund to ‘reimagine’ this collection.
When we move into our new permanent premises, it will be a welcoming and open space, with exhibitions, events and educational activities. The sort of place where you can grab a cup of tea, slice of cake and have a good chat with other members. More importantly, we want to improve our service to members, so that we can support you to better find what you need, access it quickly and help you with queries, but also continue to offer our wonderful educational and social events. In the meanwhile, we will be launching our new online forum and trialling a new access and recall service in the coming months, we will keep members updated. I also look forward to seeing many of you either in person or virtually at the forthcoming AGM. We are securing the date and venue and will be sending out further details later in the month.
Dr Wanda Wyporska, FRHistS, FRSA
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