Hands-on object-based-learning works well with archives which, unlike most museum collections, are not under glass. While fascimile copies can often be ordered from repositories and are great for writing activities, nothing beats handling original material. During the university archive sessions Sarah got out a range of material for students to look at, and they were able to touch, read, and experience the original documents. This sense of the original was important and exciting to them, exemplified by the apple stickers and coffee stains in Patrick Gale’s notebooks.
Students were also able to get their little white gloves on at the Record Office and handle original material. Here though, it was the historical content of the items that would prove useful for plot, character, and setting. Students here are working on 19th century Bodmin Gaol registers, and a World War 2 civil defence map marked, ‘top secret’.