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Benjamin Earl

Benjamin Earl

I’ve always been interested in how people use the past – indeed, in a former life, I did a PhD on that very subject. Fast forward a few years, and I found myself working at Warwickshire County Record Office, part of Heritage & Culture Warwickshire (HCW). I’m currently the editor for their community heritage website Our Warwickshire, and have been since its launch in 2014. From those early beginnings, we’ve risen to getting over a million page views a year – it’s clear that there’s appetite from the community as a whole to share their encounters with the past, how they respond to it, what it means to them and their own identity. Furthermore, to complete my indoctrination, I married an archivist in 2020!

Ever increasing involvement

That website was created by Jack Latimer of CommunitySites, and through him I got involved with CAHG, recently producing their newsletter, and social media content. It’s struck me how important an organisation like CAHG is – it’s a place for community archives around the country to gather, virtually and in person at their conferences (outside of a pandemic, anyway!), it offers support and can also illustrate the valuable work that these archives do in both preserving the past, and giving it meaning. The awards are a great showcase of the work these archives do, and it’s great to see such deserving work get a platform.

What I’d love to see is more community archives telling us what they’re doing through the year so, why not tweet us, tell us on facebook, or email us?

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