All posts by Liz Rees

About Liz Rees

Hi, I’m the senior manager for Archives, which is based at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle, but covers the whole of Tyne & Wear.

I first got interested in archives through studying history at university, but it took a year working on a job creation programme surveying business records in Wales to get me started in the profession. That took me from copper works to laundries to pop factories and showed me that archives are certainly not all glamour! Records that have been stored away in attics and cellars for decades or even hundreds of years are often filthy and have sometimes been used as bedding by pigeons, rats and other creatures.

Nevertheless I got caught up in the thrill of never knowing what you might find on opening that box, cupboard or room that no one has looked in for years, and I’ve now been working in archives for over thirty years.

A Christmas Conflagration

While scouring the archives a few years ago for a suitably seasonal image to use on the office Christmas card, Tyne & Wear Archives staff discovered a short series of 35mm photographic slides in the personal papers of local historian John Rippington… Read more

Newcastle Improved Industrial Dwellings

I wonder how many of those who now live in the Garth Heads student accommodation know the history of this listed building. During the 19th century concern grew about the poor conditions that many working class families lived under in… Read more

Hidden History – LGBT Month

In recent years there has been increasing interest in more personal versions of history such as gender and sexuality, but it’s often difficult to uncover evidence of private lives, particularly of ordinary people. In reviewing a recent addition to the… Read more

Neptune Yard Launches

A recent acquisition for the Archives is the visitors book for Swan Hunter’s Neptune Shipyard covering the years 1910-1963 (TWA ref DS.SWH/5/1/6/3). This volume had apparently been put in a rubbish skip on the closure of the yard in 1988… Read more

Who do you think you are?

Like millions of other people we love the BBC programme Who Do You Think You Are? and we’re particularly interested when the celebrity involved has north east connections. We’ve only actually featured in one programme – the one on Jodie… Read more