Working with the Local History and Archaeology Collections

Working with the local history and the archaeology collections has been fascinating. Although I have lived all my life in Brighton, I was quite unaware of its rich history – both above and below the ground. A number of projects I have been assisting with have opened my eyes to Brighton’s diverse and interesting history.

Photograph from the War Stories exhibition

One of the first projects I worked on was the preparation for the photographic exhibition, War Stories, which was held at Hove Museum. This gave me an opportunity to examine old copies of the Brighton Herald. I was fascinated by the stories reported – not just of the war, but of other events. I was also able to look at the press photography from the perspective of someone during that period – the fact that despite the trouble the population of Brighton was facing, they all appeared happy and smiling, often in front of their own houses, now empty shells following heavy bombing by the Germans. Was this their own emotions or at the request of the photographer?

Having a degree in archaeology I was equally delighted to examine some local archaeology from the museums extensive collection. I knew very little about the archaeology of Brighton and Hove and was amazed to discover areas, such as Whitehawk, were home to ancient settlements of different periods. Getting to document various tools, pottery and even human remains was an amazing experience; it is such a shame that more is not on display in the museum. However I am looking forward to seeing the new archaeology display outside the Brighton History Centre and having the opportunity to share my opinion about the review of the archaeology collection

I am terribly grateful to the staff in the Local History and Archaeology department for giving me the opportunity to work with such an exciting collection.

T Bowers

ESAMP Placement

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