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Exploiting the Archive (Including Case Studies)

Case Study: Word Power

Eric and Jessica Huntley. Image courtesy of City of London Corporation.

Eric and Jessica Huntley. Image courtesy of City of London Corporation.

Bogle-L’Ouverture Publications Limited


Corporate responsibility; Corporate identity

“Word…Through it we re-record the contributions of the Windrush generation while grounding, educating and empowering the younger generation in our communities.” Jessica Huntley, Founder and Director, 2009

“The acquisition of this business archive has opened doors into the wider community. The successful collaboration is… inspiring new deposits from key individuals from the Black Caribbean community* ” Richard Wiltshire, Senior Archivist, London Metropolitan Archives 2009

Project brief:
Working in collaboration with London Metropolitan Archives, the regional archives for London run by the City of London Corporation, the owners of Bogle-L’Ouverture loaned their extensive publishing archive to be preserved for posterity within public sector archives. They aimed to:

  • celebrate and disseminate the company’s published works and history to new cross-generational audiences
  • educate and empower other communities and promote their histories
  • demonstrate leadership to other community elders and friends with similar un-exploited business archive collections
  • save the archives from deterioration and neglect
  • free up office storage space
  • generate office storage space cost-savings

Company directors, Eric and Jessica Huntley

July 2004 - ongoing

Business archives used by project team:

  • Photographs relating to the company’s publishing and bookselling activities which include poetry readings, book launches, visits by artists and academics as well as racists attacks on the bookshop, 1960s-80s
  • Artwork of published books, 1970s-90s showing publishing design history
  • Book of condolence commemorating the life of Walter Rodney,1980
  • Notes by Eric Huntley on founding of the business, 1980-90s
  • Correspondence between the Huntleys and international political figures, including letter from Cheddi Jagan, President of Guyana,1960s

Outcomes and business benefit:

  • The archives are now embedded and regularly exploited in LMA’s published education/interpretation programme, with no financial cost to Bogle-L’Ouverture.
  • Annual conferences organised by the Huntley Archives Advisory Group keep Bogle-L’Ouverture aware of emerging new authors, promote book sales and raise company profile.
  • The archives are now catalogued, providing clarity over what is held and assisting the wider brief of realising the educational and cultural potential of the collection.
  • There is high research interest in the archive from a wide cross section of the community.

* ‘Black’ refers to persons with an African ancestry. ‘Caribbean’ includes all the other groups found in the region.

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