Welcome to the relaunched Archive of the Now!
Over the past few months, the Archive has been completely redesigned. We hope you’ll enjoy the richer content on the Author index pages, which allows you to sample a bit of poetry before you listen. We’ve also added a page of Responses, where you can see what people have been saying about the Archive, including a survey of contributors and the essays by our Poet-in-Residence, Sophie Mayer. Sophie’s essays are a good way to start navigating the Archive if you’ve never been here before. We’ve also updated our Links page – please send us your own links to add here using the Contact Us form. And you can use the Recent Additions page to see who’s new at the Archive.
We’re also looking forward to the first of our secondary school workshops, which Sophie will be leading at QMUL on Wednesday 6 November. This workshop has proved immensely popular and was fully booked within a few hours, so we’ve added another date in November, and further workshops will take place in January. We’re also planning a big surprise event to celebrate Sophie’s residency and involving all the students – more information on that will follow.
Sophie and Andrea are also leading a project, funded by the Innovation Fund at QMUL, to research metadata protocols for digital archives. We have assembled a working group of postgraduate students and are thinking about how other digital archives catalogue and tag their assets. We hope to be able to publish our findings and help to establish some standards for digital archiving, as well as to create a detailed database for the Archive which will allow you to play with our collection in new ways, using playlists, mixing tools, and apps. We’ll update you on our progress over the next six months.
We are also in the process of recruiting undergraduate interns, who will help to enter data into that database, as well as take charge of contacting poets, making new recordings, and editing sound files. The good people at the Centre for Digital Music are going to give us access to their sound studios so we can improve the quality of our recordings. Against a background of record youth unemployment and spiralling student debt, we’re also aware that young people need extra support to get their careers going. We will provide lots of training to our interns, so that they can help develop transferrable skills which will help them when they are job hunting.
We’re also preparing for a visit from Christina Davis in the spring, to lead a workshop with QMUL’s own undergraduates on poetry and performance. Christina is Curator at the Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard University’s Lamont Library and we’re looking forward to collaborating with her in the future.
So, there has been a great deal going on behind the scenes at the Archive. As always we welcome your feedback. Please get in touch to let us know what you think of the new site and what you’d like the Archive to do in future. Thanks for listening.
Director, Archive of the Now