The Dream to Change the World Project
In 2010 we received an Heritage Lottery Fund award to open up to public access the archives of our late founding Chair, John La Rose (1927-2006), one of the most important activists and publishers in Black British and Caribbean history. Making Black British history open to all has, we believe, contributed to the UK becoming more integrated than other parts of Europe. By doing this internationally, we hope to increase cultural awareness and to break the discontinuity of information between generations of black and minority ethnic populations in this continent and beyond. This is part of our continued struggle for social justice and racial equality. The collection will be appraised and stored at the GPI, and at least 40 percent of it will be catalogued for public access in this current project. A series of learning and outreach activities are running alongside the conservation scheme, aiming to involve a wider audience in the archive and including specific volunteering opportunities.
We have been concentrating in 2012 on cataloguing John La Rose's individual files (900 in all). Audio-visual materials have also been identified and listed (some 300 items in all) and we have begun the process of digitising the audio cassettes. Members of the La Rose family have identified photos, some dating from John’s childhood. Fragments of poetry and prose have been discovered in John’s notebooks and will be viewed alongside his manuscripts, both published and unpublished.
The Bookman Research Project
The Bookman Research Project into the early origins of the publishing work done by John La Rose with New Beacon Books began in October 2012. It is a major part of our HLF-funded Dream to Change the World project. Ruth Bush was appointed as the researcher. She will produce an online booklet at the end of this academic year. She is also planning to do some public sessions, so please look out for details on our website.
We intend to start blogging again in the New Year (2013) about the Dream to Change the World Project, so please look out for that.
Please note that most of the material in the Dream to Change the World project is not yet publicly accessible and is therefore not yet listed in our archive catalogue.
We have welcomed a number of new volunteers in 2012 who have helped us enormously with all aspects of the Dream to Change the World Project - cleaning and identifying material, Outreach work, and cataloguing. Volunteers are at the heart of our work here at the GPI. If you would be interested in getting involved specifically with the Dream to Change the World project, please email our project archivist, Sarah Garrod, email@example.com. Further information about volunteering at the GPI can be found in our Volunteering section.