Posted by: kbenoy | September 26, 2012

Planning the Display

You may be aware that the Archives have a small display area in the Map Room. This display changes every three months and in October it will be time for the display of records relating to the Taking Account of Our Past project. The display will run from the start of October until the end of December 2012.

We have four glass display cases used to display original records from our collections. In the early stages of planning the content of the display I chose four main groups of records to feature:

  • A selection of records of Smith, Son & Wilkie – chartered accountants
  • A selection of records relating to the Queen Square Syndicate, property developers
  • A selection of records relating to the Wolverhampton and District Butchers, Hide, Skin, Fat & Wool Co Ltd
  • A selection of records relating to families including Samuel Loveridge and Ellen Maria Wilkes

I had hoped to use some of the Samuel Small Mander records from the collection in the display but they are still undergoing extensive conservation work.

The main challenge with this display has been choosing the businesses and families to feature as the collection contains so many great records. I chose the Queen Square Syndicate records because they are the reason the collection was deposited at the Archives in the first place and they contain a wealth of important information about the development of the city centre previously unseen. I chose the records of the Wolverhampton and District Butchers, Hide, Skin, Fat & Wool Co Ltd as they make up one of the larger parts of the collection and are remembered by many local people for the smell and the nature of the business.

As the display cases will not be available until the end of the week when the Wolverhampton Olympians display ends, I have used a tip from Jon the Conservator and created a template showing the size of the display case. This template is helpful in planning the layout of the display and ensuring that I have selected enough records to fill the case and tell a story but that they will all comfortably fit.

Planning the Queen Square Syndicate Display Case

So far, for the Queen Square Syndicate display I have chosen a minute book, the directors sign in book and an image of the proposed buildings designed by the architect Fred T. Beck. I am also going to include a variety of images from our photograph collection to show how  Queen Square looked before and after the Queen Square Improvement.


Planning the Wolverhampton & District Butchers Display Case


The Wolverhampton & District Butchers, Hide, Skin, Fat & Wool Co Ltd display has been challenging as I would like to show the development of the business from when it opened in 1886 to when it closed in 1973. I have chosen records including the Memorandum and Articles of Association from the formation of the business, the Register of Members, a Sales Analysis Book and a minute book. I am intending to show the entry in the minutes when the premises at Snow Hill were sold. This display will also include some images from the photograph collection.

Each display case will contain a narrative on the business or family to explain the background of the records and tell the story of the people involved.

The display will open on Tuesday 2nd October and will be available to view anytime the Archives are open. It will run until the end of December.


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