We’ve had a busy and productive summer with the Peter Mackay archive – cataloguing, digitising and preparing material to be given to JSTOR’s Struggles For Freedom resource which makes its material open to higher education institutions in Africa and which we hope will allow our collection to reach new audiences and encourage research both far and near.

More on that soon – now it’s time for an update closer to home! We have an exciting project underway at the University itself. A group of third year students on the Interpretation and Exhibition Design module are using the Peter Mackay archive to mount an exhibition, choosing their own themes and design drawn from what caught their eye within the collection. The exhibition will be presented in the Library from the 24th November – 6th April so if you’ve wanted to look at the collection and didn’t know where to start, this would be a wonderful opportunity to catch a glimpse of what the collection is all about.

Over the next couple of weeks, this group will be sharing some of their experiences – both with the technicalities of mounting the exhibition and with exploring the archive – here on the blog on Friday afternoons.

For now, to whet your appetite, here is an introduction to their project from the team’s press and marketing co-ordinator Rosemary:

“The archive of Peter Mackay is fascinating but a bit overwhelming for me as I have never dealt with an archive before! There is so much material, from photos and letters to small scraps of paper with hand drawn maps, a man’s entire life in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).  I have mixed feelings about this material, as it is close to home for me personally.  Others in the group are fascinated by this man and the wealth of material we have to choose from, they are getting a first-hand look into an important milestone in the history of African Independence.  We all want this exhibition to be the best it can be and are all very committed to our tasks.  We will keep you posted as it develops.”


Some research material for our exhibition group