Archives for archives

Going back to the Family Records Centre

One of the issues I faced when writing Ignoring Gravity was the change in technology over the years it took me to write the book. Ten long years, during which paper archives went digital, census and registry records became available online. The first draft of the book saw Rose making a trip to Myddleton Street, North London to visit the Family Records Centre in order to get a copy of her original birth certificate. I went too, to research the archive, to follow the process Rose would follow. Recently I retraced my steps, knowing the FRC did not exist, its records long since gone digital. I found it a sad procedure. I’d liked the old building, the anticipation of the Tube journey, turning the corner, walking up the steps, the loud banging of the archive drawers, the friendly atmosphere of family history researchers poring over huge volumes. Recently, with some curiosity, I went back to the very first draft to find the rough draft of the scene where Rose visits the FRC. Here it is:- It was a disappointing building. For something so momentous as the Family Records Centre, Rose had at the very least expected bay windows, Georgian steps
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Categories: Book Love, My Novel: 'Ignoring Gravity' and On Researching.