Archives inspire creative writing

On Tuesday 17 February, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine hosted their first Archives Alive! event as part of a series linked to an exhibition on Women in Science.

The School's archive includes the correspondence and writings of nineteenth and early twentieth-century women scientists who made important contributions to the advance of global public health at a time when there were significant cultural barriers to their involvement in medicine. Creative writers researched this material and produced a script  featuring just three of them  - Amy Carpenter, wife of an entomologist who worked in Uganda on sleeping sickness in the 1920s; Mary Kingsley, a British explorer who made pioneering trips to Africa in the 1890s; and Mary Simpson, who designed an anti-mosquito helmet in 1917. The script, read by two actors at the lunchtime event, was an affectionate tribute to their work as well as an acknowledgement of the difficulties they faced.

Would you like to use archives to inspire your own creative writing? If so, why not visit the Art and Design Archives at Parkside? We have a great deal of documentary material relating to the history of the Birmingham School of Art and the life of one of our former students, Marion Richardson.