Welcome to our monthly archive diary blog. As you may have guessed Neil’s archive has a range of different items including digital images, negatives, magazines, books, equipment and more. So managing the archive is very interesting as you come across a different item with a fascinating story every day!
Last month we saw the release of the BBC documentary titled Black Power: A British Story of Resistance, which featured some of Neil’s archive. We were approached by film director George Amponsah last summer who was looking for images that would give an insight into work of the UK Black Panther movement. I liaised with his archive and production team who reviewed a range of images and decided to use the final set that you see in the programme. This type of request is very common for us. We get requests from several production companies who are searching for images to help tell untold stories. It makes you think how valuable photographic archives can be from a historic and art perspective. The documentary included a series of interviews and visual clips as well as guest appearances by Neil, photographer Charlie Phillips and other members of the movement.
Also, this month I decided to really focus on a section of Neil’s digital photographic archive. I examined few of the community focused images of people and local places, exploring the stories behind them. I think documentaries such as Black Power really reflect the importance of archive image materials and how they help set the scene in film. If people like Neil and Charlie Phillips did not maintain their archive we really wouldn’t be able to understand what life was like in the UK for black people in the 60’s and 70s. Without their work we wouldn’t be able to have these thought provoking programmes and articles too.