Northamptonshire Black History Project

Case-study showing the impact of community archives
Photo:In 2003, project staff worked with Esmahan Abdalla to produce a film about her experiences of coming to Northampton from Somalia. The film formed part of an exhibition, inspired by this work.

In 2003, project staff worked with Esmahan Abdalla to produce a film about her experiences of coming to Northampton from Somalia. The film formed part of an exhibition, inspired by this work.

Photo: Northamptonshire Black History Association

Photo:Fugitive American slave John Anderson who lived in Corby in 1861-1862

Fugitive American slave John Anderson who lived in Corby in 1861-1862

Photo: Northamptonshire Record Office

Photo:"The Northamptonshire Black History Project is a great example of what the world needs now. If we leave it to the people in power to write our history we should not complain when we are portrayed negatively, but if we begin to record and write our own history we may then have a clearer vision of our future. I think this project is great; as I go on my travels I shall let the world know that history is being made in Northamptonshire."  Benjamin Zephaniah, Jan 2004

"The Northamptonshire Black History Project is a great example of what the world needs now. If we leave it to the people in power to write our history we should not complain when we are portrayed negatively, but if we begin to record and write our own history we may then have a clearer vision of our future. I think this project is great; as I go on my travels I shall let the world know that history is being made in Northamptonshire." Benjamin Zephaniah, Jan 2004

Photo: Northamptonshire Black History Association

Below you can download a detailed case-study of this community archive. The case-study describes the origins, activities and achievements of the archive, and assesses its impact on the local community.

The first two sections of the case-study are reproduced below.

Project summary

The Northamptonshire Black History Project was founded to record and promote the histories and stories of Northamptonshire's Black communities and individuals over the past 500 years. To support these aims the Project:

  • Undertook historical research into sources held by external bodies
  • Encouraged black community groups to organise their records into archives and deposit them with the county record office
  • Recorded the life stories of Black people across Northamptonshire

The work of the Project has been carried on and developed by its successor, the Northamptonshire Black History Association.

For further background, download the case-study or see the directory entry for Northamptonshire Black History Association.

What does this project exemplify?

Key features of the Project:

  • Creation of on-line database with catalogue of oral history collection and references to black people and organisations in a wide range of sources
  • Successfully encouraging seven black and ethnic minority organisations to deposit their archives at Northamptonshire Record Office, making this combined resource one of the
    best of its kind in the UK for any record office outside London.
  • Work with a wide range of groups and individuals on project work that has included film of an individual's experience of coming to Britain from Somalia, training young people in
    interviewing and oral history skills and producing a project exploring racism in sport through drama.
  • Partnering with Northamptonshire University to produce a new module on Black British History for the University's humanities BA course

Download the full case study

Downloads

Northamptonshire Black History Project
Northamptonshire Black History Project (219k)
Community Archives Case Study

This page was added on 20/06/2007.

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