For group members and all who visit us we’ll be regularly updating the resources we have found useful. Many of these are websites. As we begin our own productions we’ll be uploading these too. There’s a post of 4 October 2010 which contains some useful links, and we’ll be adding some of these and more to our blogroll. One thing we are all doing is “skilling up” so you are witnessing an other aspect of “history in the making”.
There are some documents we have produced too, and you may find the following useful to see a summary of some of our activities to date.
The InSpidered group has been meeting for nine months now. It’s been looking at many aspects of local history, but wider history too. We have touched on themes such as housing, poverty, slavery, health , work. We’ve looked at sources such as original newspaper articles, pieces from novels, and materials from historians – particularly local historians. We have watched a lot of extracts from films, and complete films such as Beat City and The London Nobody Knows.
One unmissable aspect of the group has been its discussions (a polite word for arguments!). Often these have raised questions about facts, but more often about how history is interpreted and who does the interpreting. It’s come down to a key word, representation. This can mean, for instance, who represents a view of history (such as a TV producer, a writer, a journalist, a historian) as ‘true’ – and how ‘truly’ do these individuals represent what they claim to. Representation also means how stuff is re-presented in words, images, films, songs, whatever.
As the history group overlaps so much with writing and photography, and because a lot of what we have looked at has been drama (e.g. feature films, Boys from the Blackstuff etc.) we have now reached a stage where we are slowly producing our own representations. We’re looking to use writing, drama, photography, sounds, interviews, video making to produce not one finished product but a lot of different things. Rather than trying to arrive at the complete picture of history, we’re recognising that it consists of possibly infinite ways of telling stories in different forms. To take Liverpool for example, perhaps there areas many Liverpools as there are representations of LIverpool.
In practice, at the moment we are working on the theme of ‘arivals and departures’. We are collecting video, sound, photographic, printed text and other materials. We are looking at ways of introducing creative writing and dram, for instance to contribute to the soundtrack of a video. A lot of what we’re doing may be very simple and quick to do, like writing a few lines in the form of an image of a place, or taking a few photographs. Sometimes things will make us stop and want to find out more, for example ‘what is the history of such and such a building’, but overall we are happy to just see how things turn out.
Anyone can contribute to what we’re doing, whether they can attend our meetings or not. As said, it could be anything from a poem, scanning an old family photo, making a suggestion, sharing a book or video – to more time-consuming work such as rsearching a particular bit of history (a neighbourhood’s changes over 30 years from example, or the Police Strike of 1919. Anything).
“History’ is a word that can be off-putting. If anyone has a better word for what we’re doing let us know! Maybe the best way to look at it all is to imagine that we are making a tapestry that includes many different pieces not at all connected in most cases (just like a city in fact). Who knows, maybe someone wants to make a real tapestry!
1 September 2010
The first ‘volume’ (!) of our resource pack consisting of printed materials we’ve shared has now been prepared as both a pdf and word.doc file so that members can have any particular items printed out on request. Here’s the first couple of pages of the pack which show in a bit more detail what’s available at the moment:
The stuff in this pack is a collection of some of the documents etc. we’ve looked at in the Spider History Group over the past nine months.
They’re not intended to be read from beginning to end, nor do they reflect everything we’ve covered. They’re just a more or less random set of ‘fragments’ but you may find one or two interesting. If you want a copy, just ask. It’s important to understand that we have spent time on many highly important issues not covered in these articles, and we relid more on film, oral recordings and books.
It’s also worth noting that the way people below write about things reflects a particular slant. History is not a list of facts! One item, in particular, referred to as the “Irish Famine’ is contentious since the word ‘famine’ suggests a natural disaster, whereas many people argue that the human disaster was chiefly the result of governments and landowners, and their abuse of power.
Hopefully, as time moves on, we’ll assemble more documents and maybe able to go into depth on some areas depending on people’s interests.
The items aren’t in any special order except they’re kept roughly together by topic.
Many of these items are taken from websites on our website resource list. They are in the public domain and their sources have been acknowledged. They are for private use only. We’re grateful to and admire the people who’ve put so much effort into sharing their work. If anybody wishes to have their item removed, or a link to their site, please contact us.
There’ll be a separate folder with maps and pdf items we’ve used.
- “Liverpool does not exist’. A few ‘definitions of Liverpool’
- Timeline of English History – Tim Lambert
- Brief History of Liverpool. – Tim Lambert
- A Brief History of Liverpool – Andrew Pearce
- Miscellany of Liverpool Views. A compilation of extracts about Liverpool from many sources including literature and newspapers.
- Anfield: a description of the region from a 1906 guidebook to Liverpool
- A Walk along Hope Street
- Grim Insight into daily grind of life in the workhouse
- How Charles Dickens described the workhouse
- “Care of Lunatics”, newspaper article of 1860
- The History of Liverpool Psychiatry
- The Workhouse: Rules and Punishments
- The Burial of Paupers in Liverpool
- Toxteth Workhouse: Inspectors’ Report, 1866
- Liverpool Sheltering Homes: for orphans and destitute children
- Irish Famine
- Coffin Ships (Irish Famine)
- “Snapshoots of Poverty”: Guardian article 1995 about the red-light area near the cathedral
- “The Belfast of England”
- Gunboats on the Mersey
- Gunships up the Mersey
- Slave Trade Anti-Abolitionists
- Bessie Braddock
- Burke and Hare: the Liverpool Connection
- Post War Housing
- “Liverpool Does Not Exist”: personal account
- Proof of Liverpool’s Viking Past
- Carl Jung’s Dream of Liverpool
- Extracts from the novel by Herman Melville