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Roundtable: Working in the Archive

Wednesday 20 May 2020, 4.30PM

Join us for a lively and entertaining roundtable discussion on working in the archive - both the physical archive and its virtual counterpart.  Our three speakers have all carried out substantial research in archives in the UK, Europe and the US, and will report on the joys and sorrows of working in these stimulating and challenging environments.  What were they looking for, and how did they know where to find it?  What happens if it’s not there? What’s the difference between one archive and another in terms of how you approach working there, or how you experience it?  Are some archives more useful than others?  What happens to all the stuff you find that has nothing to do with whatever it was you thought you were looking for in the first place…?  Will we be able to carry on working in the archive if we stop being able to travel, sit next to each other in dusty basements and touch real paper and cardboard boxes?    Are virtual archives really archives…?  

Speakers will each give a 10-minute informal talk followed by a Q&A session and an open discussion.  We will finish the session with canapés and cocktails (BYO - see for recipes)  


Dr Bryan Radley (chair)

Prof Emilie Morin: working in scattered archival collections such as the Samuel Beckett archives and early radio archives; 

Dr Erica Sheen: working in the Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive NYU, the Truman Presidential Library, Independence Missouri, and the Getty Research Institute in LA;  

Dr Trev Broughton: working in the Stonyhurst College archive and UCL’s ‘Legacies’ database. 

This event will be held via Zoom - register in advance at 

Open to all; PhD and MA students particularly welcome!  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

When joining the meeting please mute your microphone upon entry, but you’re welcome to keep your camera on – we like to see you!   


Location: Online by Zoom