We recently welcomed children from a number of Worcester Schools to Archives and Archaeology in The Hive. They had all been invited to see the 'Beyond the City Walls' exhibition which has been on display in the studio and marked the end of the Worcester Archive Source Project, a project to catalogue and promote the Worcester City Archives.
The children enjoyed a tour around the Hive, spending some time in the 'Explore the Past' area looking at some of our resources, visiting the children's library and going upstairs to level four to get a good view of the gold cladding.
They also got the chance to see 'behind the scenes' as they went down into the strongrooms to look at Shakespeare's Marriage Bond, the Vernon Map book and some of our more unusual treasures (including a homeopathic medicine chest and a set of false teeth!). They visited the archaeology workrooms and saw some of the finds discovered when The Hive site was excavated.
After the tour we returned to the studio to listen to the memories of some of the people who have lived and worked on the site and the children became 'time detectives' using some of the evidence from the archives and archaeology to discover more about the site and its history.
Most of the children thought the building was 'awesome' and the Touch History table and the Sound Domes were particularly popular with everyone. We were asked lots of questions including 'can I bring Mum and Dad in to show them the Table?', 'can I come back in and look at the newspapers on those films' and 'do you have a favourite archive?' It is always a great experience to introduce new audiences to the resources held at the Archive and Archaeology Service and we look forward to more visits in the future.
We are now planning our long-term programme for school visits which will start in February 2013.