Explore York’s archives – and Britain’s democracy – with a week of free events

Extract from an 1852 map of York – one of countless treasures in the Explore archives
9 Nov 2015 @ 9.17 pm
| Education, History, Politics
Explore Your Archive/ Parliament Week

York Explore, Museum Street, York

Sat Nov 14-Sat Nov 21


See all the events here

Want to know more about York’s amazing past – and the future of democracy?

These two topics run side by side as Explore York Libraries & Archives stage a series of free events on both topics.

Explore Your Archive showcases the potential of archives to bring people together, and tell amazing stories.

“Our collections cover over 800 years of York history, telling the stories of the city’s inhabitants, past and present,” said Laura Yeoman, archives and local history public services manager.

“More importantly, they are available to everyone – academic, student, resident, tourist or the generally curious.”

It’s the first time the event has taken place since the new archives store was completed late last year, and Laura is delighted by the programme they have put together.

She said:

Whether you have never accessed our collections before or are a seasoned researcher, there is something for everyone – from short introductory sessions telling some of the stories from our archives, to opportunities to get involved with cataloguing some of our collections.

There’s also a chance to see inside the new archives strongroom (the ‘gold box’) and learn more about the work we have done to create the new Archive and Local History Service at York Explore.

The future of democracy

Acclaimed 1966 movie A Man For All Seasons plays at Explore
Acclaimed 1966 movie A Man For All Seasons plays at Explore
At the same time Explore York has put together a series of talks and events to mark Parliament Week, which this year has the theme, The Future Of Democracy.

Some of the questions being examined include: does technology threaten or support democracy? Where does democracy fit within the defence of human rights? What is a northern powerhouse and is devolution a sensible move?

Reference and information librarian Adrian Clark said:

We have speakers throughout Parliament Week that will provoke thought, inform opinion, and challenge your assumptions about the future of democracy.

We are also delighted to be co-producing a commu­nity cinema for the first time ever at York Explore.

Not only are we thrilled about our exciting speakers and cinema but we are passionate about showcasing our activities that support an open and fair society for all.

Adrian said it was fitting that these events were being staged in York’s central library.

He quoted David Baldacci in the New York Times…

Libraries are the mainstays of democracy.

The first thing dictators do when taking over a country is close all the libraries, because libraries are full of ideas and differences of opinion, all the things we say we want in a free and open society.