On Wednesday June 1st, Kerry and I went to the Liverpool Records Office to see what we could find relating to the Liverpool Blind School. I arrived in the café to find Kerry with the contents of the camera box emptied on to the table, and I had some fun putting it together in preparation for documenting what we found.
We then went up to the third floor to secure our bags in a locker before entering the Search Room. Kerry had ordered some relevant books ahead of time and they were laid out on a table for us, where we quickly got started. There was a fantastic variety of documents. We found numbers of pupils admitted, illustrations of the architecture of the school and the accompanying church, an act of parliament for establishing and governing the school and even a poem entitled ‘The Liverpool Asylum’ describing the school in 1802.
An article from 1968 corresponds to some of the images I had found in the National Museums Liverpool negative archives, describing a Christmas party held at the school. It was nice to tie separate threads of research together already.
Kerry made notes on all the documents (though our attempts at poetry were quickly abandoned) and I photographed the relevant pages for future study and research by the rest of the group. After a short break in the café at lunchtime we returned upstairs to investigate the microfilm. There were two articles, one from 1891 and one from 1936 that we made copies of after some brief arguments with the printer. We also found the article from 1968 that corresponds to some of the images I had found in the National Museums Liverpool negative archives, describing a Christmas party held at the school. It was nice to tie separate threads of research together already.
As we were preparing to leave we spotted a book for sale on John Foster & Sons – one of whom was the architect of the first school and chapel – which was quickly purchased for further study. Overall it was a very productive and fun day and I’m looking forward to discovering more from looking at the documents in extra detail.