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News > From the Archives > From the Archivist > Tales from the Tower.

Tales from the Tower.

The Lionel Stephens Archive
The Lionel Stephens Archive

 

 

Someone far more profound than me once said that an archive is the collective memory of a place and its people and so over the past few months it feels like the archive has been adding new memories to its collection.  The title of this article ‘Tales from the tower’ was inspired by the fact that the archive is now in residence in Devitt Tower.  Cabin four in Harbinger has been converted into the new home of the Lionel Stephens Archive.  In early October fifty plus boxes were brought up a very long stairway with the much appreciated help of the estates team.  A valuable lesson was learned along the way, don’t overload boxes unless you know a good chiropractor!  The addition of some office furniture and some heavy duty shelving completed the move.

Although there’s still a mountain of work to do, the move is already paying dividends.  We’ve been able to uncover images for a new college timeline feature that will be added to the digital archive site.  Robin Knight has been an invaluable help with this project and we hope it will be a useful tool for researchers as well as giving a fascinating insight into the college’s evolution.  The archive has been earning its keep in a number of ways over the past twelve months, especially supporting college events such as the return of the King Edward VIII Gold Medal, Founders Day and the Falkland Islands Conflict 40th anniversary commemorations.  Most recently we had the bitter sweet experience of celebrating Her Majesty the Queens Platinum Jubilee and subsequently her sad passing in September.  The archives hold a large number of items relating to the colleges royal connections which meant that we were able to both celebrate and commemorate Her Majesty’s eighty year association with the college which began with her visit as Princess Elizabeth in 1943.  Of course none of the above would be possible without the help of everyone who has supported the archive, in particular Tim Hamilton, Iona Sadler and her team, Robin Knight and all the Old Pangbournians who have given both moral and financial support, thank you.

There are exciting times ahead for the archive.  Sorting and cataloguing has now begun in earnest with more records being digitised and made available shortly.  Look out for articles and gems that we discover, on both the college and Old Pangbournian social media sites, on the portal and in the Pangbournian Magazine.  If you would like to learn more about the Lionel Stephens Archive Project or share your stories of your time at the college please do get in touch.  I can be contacted at sue.carpenter@pangbourne.com or archives@pangbourne.com.

 

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