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News > From the Archives > From the Archivist > The College Archivist

The College Archivist

Introducing The College Archivist

My name is Sue Carpenter, mother of a newly initiated Old Pangbournian and Pangbourne's new Volunteer College Archivist. Being somewhat camera shy I like to think of myself as the archiving version of the Stig, I prefer to let the documents and records do the talking and Pangbournes archive is full to the brim with stories just waiting to be told. 

My interest in archives began at my son’s Prep School, St. Neots, where my passion for military history led me to research the school's casualties of the First World War.  I approached the Head and asked if the school had an archive.  A few weeks later I found myself in the art room surrounded by boxes, old trunks and desk drawers full of broken frames and glass, piles of papers and books and a lovely collection of dead spiders plus a few too many live ones for my liking!   It quickly became obvious that the first registers from 1886, cricket score books from 1899 and school magazines from 1897 couldn’t just be thrown back in the attic and so with the Heads approval I began archiving in earnest.  On numerous research trips to the National Archives at Kew I managed to get helpful advice from the experts including the Head of Private Archives and later when I began volunteering with the National Trust I have been able to pick the brains of their expert team of conservators.

Pangbourne's archive is probably my biggest challenge to date but an extremely exciting one.  Lionel Stephens has left the archive with very strong foundations, his passion for the College and its history leaps out of so many documents contained in the very archive that he fought so hard to protect.  My hope is that over time we will be able to turn the archive into a fantastic resource that he would approve of and that can be used to connect the college with the wider Pangbourne community and with the support and help from this fantastic community all things are possible.

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