The Open Shop Project - Blackburn Book Archive
For a month in the Summer of 2010, I established a drop in community centre for the people of Blackburn, Lancashire. Housed in an ex-hairdressers, The Blackburn Book Archive invited visitors to deposit their personal book recommendations to form part of a growing collection of book suggestions at a pool of typewriters. Inspired by the Blackburn Museum's collection of illuminated manuscripts donated to them by an eccentric yet avid book collector, this new archive aimed to connect the local people with their local museum, creating a legacy for future generations.
Working with some wonderful ex 'Star Paper Mill' workers, I collected stories from the now closed Star Paper Factory. Fascinating memories drifted through the walls of the archive, of mistletoe mischief, 'mucky beehives', singing while guillotining and pulling 'sickies' to get on top of the washing. Both the memories from the mill and the newly created archive of 'book memories' formed part of an artist's publication. More details of the project can be found here