In conjunction with the Family/Heritage Day competition, the Archives hosted a visit from a group of Grade 2 students from Deseronto Public School today. These children have visited the Library before, but this was the first time that a school group has visited the Archives.

I told them a little bit about writing through the ages and what an archivist does to take care of the things that people have recorded. They enjoyed looking at the Library’s 1920s borrowers’ register and the 1894 signature quilt from the Archives. I was wearing cotton gloves and explaining how precious these things were, but am not sure the message got through: one of the boys asked if he could slam the book shut and see whether a cloud of dust escaped. I said “Definitely not!”.

Matching captions to images

After that, we set them going on a matching exercise with a set of 25 Deseronto images which had lost their captions. I wasn’t quite sure how well this would work with this age group, but they seemed to have fun and several asked if they could take their particular picture home with them.

There was another activity set up with colouring materials to make an illuminated initial, but by the end of the matching exercise the children were more interested in choosing new library books to take home with them. Three or four girls came and looked at the print-outs of illuminated initials with me (I found the UK National Archives’ Flickr account a useful source of these) and took them home with them: perhaps this was too ambitious an activity for this age group.

It was a fun morning, if a little noisy and manic at times!

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