Blog Post

Yao Blog 1

My name is Yao and I am studying Digital Humanities in UCL. In 2016 I earned my bachelor of art degree in Advertising from Sichuan University in China. During the term time, I was the vice president of the youth media department of Sichuan University, in responsibility of operating media networks and delivering social campaigns. I also interned in two 4A advertising agencies, Apex Ogilvy in Chengdu and J. Walter Thompson Beijing, participating in commercial communication proposals and media plans. After my graduation I decided to equip myself more with digital competency. Therefore I started a Digital Humanities course in UCL since September of 2016 and gained some abilities and skills in the internet technologies, information management, server programming and so on.

I really appreciate the concept of serving the local community with culture and heritage, as what Islington Museum is dedicated in. I would like to know more about the borough where I am based and that is also my initial motivation for working here. Islington Museum is a nice place with diverse collections and the people working here are lovely and helpful. The main task for me is to improve the museum database and develop a better way to organise those accessions within. I am pretty confident with any challenge in Islington Museum and am sure that I would learn a lot from the experts here.

Learning Events

Under 5’s and family events this summer

Join us for a summer of creative fun at Islington Museum.

Family Workshop: Sunshine Printing

10th August, 1pm—3pm, £3 per family

Come as a family and learn how to make prints using just sunlight, plants and water!
We will collect beautiful natural objects in the park before having time to experiment and create your own family artwork inspired by summer.

Under 5’s very welcome. Bring sun cream and water if it’s hot.


Messy play: Victorian Seaside

15th August 2017, 10am-11.30am, £2 per child

Come along to our Victorian Seaside! Play Victorian seaside games, build colourful sandcastles and make seaside art.

Messy Play does get messy – don’t forget a change of clothes!


Family Workshop: Prints and Protests

22nd August, 10am—12pm, , £3 per family

The people of Islington have always stood up for what they believe in. Join us for a messy printmaking workshop to make beautiful banners telling us what you and your family think is important!



Messy Play:Summer Garden

29th August, 10am—11.30am

Dig up wiggly worms in our messy soil, print with beautiful flowers and create colourful summertime crafts!

Messy Play does get messy – don’t forget a change of clothes!




We look forward to seeing you soon! Have a lovely summer.

Blog Post

Stephanie Blog 3

Things I have learnt working in the Islington Heritage Museum:

  1. One of the first things I learnt and enjoyed about working here was to get to know the Museum. Roz kindly gave me a tour of the museum where I found a lot of interesting information.
  2. How to write a blog for this Project webpage, ‘Sifting the paperwork’, with content about activities I normally do.
  3. Get to understand the database of the Museum, ADLIB, and work with it to verify and compare with the Accessions Register to see if every Museum object is in the database with the correct number and description. For missing objects, I corrected them or added them to an excel sheet.
  4. Learn how the Local History Archives of Islington Council works, how it is organised and helped to  find and classify some pamphlets for the Sadler’s Wells Theatre
  5. Learn to handle museum objects following training, by having to digitise some of them and upload to the database. Each museum object will have a photograph in the database to be recognized more easily.
  6. What I liked most about working at the museum of Islington was the digitization of objects, to take pictures of each one and get to know a little bit more of the stories of the Islington community.
    (One of the pictures I digitise. Image: Booth’s Distilleries Ltd.)1991.59


Blog Post

Banners for Islington!

The Hammersmith Banners currently on display in the museum reflect Britain’s response to the Spanish Civil War and the campaigns held here to recruit new members of the International Brigade, collect food, money and arms for Spain, and remember those who had died.

For our exhibition, our volunteer Susan, did a lot of research into the Islington story of the Spanish Civil War. We decided, working with banner-maker Ed Hall, to make a banner reflecting these stories. Ed Hall has made banners for trade unions and protest groups since the 1980s. See here for an exhibition of his work at the People’s History Museum in Manchester a few years ago.   

On the day of the workshop we first explored different banners from around the country, including many by Ed himself. We then looked at the Hammersmith banners and investigated Islington stories and decided who we would like to feature and how we would do it.

Learning about the Spanish Civil War in Islington; Bosco Jones from Finsbury who fought in the Spanish Civil War

Then we began to design our banner… planning and then drawing different elements under Ed’s guidance. During all our work we had really interesting discussions about the Spanish Civil War and what’s happened since.

Drawing pictures ready for our banner

We then stuck all our pictures together and rolled them up for Ed to take away. He will be making our banner to go on display in the museum very soon!

Our final banner and the team

Blog Post

Stephanie Blog 2

  • One of my first tasks in Islington Museum waIMG_0250s digitising some of the objects that belonged to an Odeon cinema in Islington that was built a long time ago and now has been demolished. We took photos of 5 different objects. The first three objects were banners that appeared below the advertisement of the movie before its release, and the other two were the frames where movie posters were displayed outside the movie theatre. (Image: Frame displaying the movie and cast of the week)
  • My next task was to check over the Accessions Register book and compare the information with an Excel from the collections management system, Adlib, with a list of all the objects, to verify if every Museum object is in its place with the correct number and description. I corrected mistakes and added missing elements to the excel sheet.
  • I also spent a morning in the Local History Archives of Islington Council ; get to know all the archives rooms, understand their purpose and how they are a good tool to comprehend the history of Islington Borough. I helped organise some of the pamphlets that belonged to an old Islington Theatre called Sadler’s Wells, the world’s No.1 venue dedicated to international dance – presenting dance in all forms from contemporary to flamenco, ballet to hip hop. In 1683, Richard Sadler opened his “Musick House” (house of music), being the second public theater that opened in London. Basically my task was to read each one of the pamphlets and find the date they were issued and classify them from the oldest date to the most recent. (Image: Sadler’s Wells Theatre in 1910)


Finsbury Rifles

Finsbury Rifles: Away from the Western Front. 9th July to 15th July 1916.

Here we see a reference to Captain AL Lewthwaite, a member of the Rifles, who’s spectacular photography collections survives as part of the Imperial War Museum’s archive, providing a personal record of day to day life away from the Western Front. We link to the archive throughout this blog, but you can access the entire collection here…have an explore!

Date 9/7/16

Divine service under Coy arrangements.

Date 10/7/16

Work on defences as usual. Orders received from 16th Bde for this Battn to relieve the 1/7 Essex Regt at MANCHESTER POST.

Date 11/7/16

Work on defences as usual. Lt Pope WG returned to duty with the Battn on his post of assist Wharfmaster Shallufa East being taken over by R Austen

Date 12/7/16

Work on defences in morning, remainder of day spent preparing to move. Advance party left for MANCHESTER

Date 13/7/16

Battn parade 03.15 and proceeded by route march to Manchester Post relieved 1/7 Essex Reg. there at 05.00 remainder of the day spent settling down. Lt WG Pope went to hospital.


Date 14.7.16

Battn finding 100 men for work on defences. Manchester Post remainder on preliminary training.

Date 15/7/16

Battn finding 100 men for work on defences. Capt AL Lewthwaite reported from English leave. 2nd Lt AW Robinson (4th E Surrey Regiment) attached to the Battn for duty.

Please explore the Glossary to clarify any unfamiliar terms!

Finsbury Rifles

Finsbury Rifles: Away from the Western Front. 3rd July 1916 to 8th July 1916.


Date 3 to 5/6/16

Work on defences as usual. Battn finding usual guards and picquets.

Date 6/6/16

Work on defences as usual.2nd Lt Pethybridge (Sherwood Foresters) and 2nd Lt Hutchinson (S. Staffs Regiment) arrived from Base Detail Camp attached to Battn for duty.

Date 7/6/16

Work on defences as usual

Date 8/7/16

Work on defences as usual. Garrison duties found by battn. 2nd Lt Alden returned from hospital (Alexandria).

Explore our Glossary to discover unfamiliar terms.


Finsbury Rifles

Finsbury Rifles: Away from the Western Front. 25th June to 2nd July 1916.

In recent posts we have seen various divine services taking place. Often these would be open air and represent some of the few times that the men could come together collectively, outside of battle.


Date 25/6/16
Voluntary divine service. Battalion finding guards and outposts. 2nd Lt Allen to hospital.

Date 26 to 28/6/16

Work on defences as usual.

Date 29 to 30/6/16

Work on defences. Battalion finding guards and outposts as usual.

Date 1/7/16

Work on defences as usual (placing dugouts).

Date 2/7/16

Divine service under coy arrangements.

Explore our Glossary for any unfamiliar terms.

Finsbury Rifles

Finsbury Rifles: Away from the Western Front. 18th June to 24th June

Date 18/6/16

No work on defences. Divine Service in E7 Canteen.

Date 19 to 22/6/16

Work on defences as usual also finding the battalion duties.

Date 23/6/16

6.30am visit of inspection of post by Commander in Chief. Routine as usual.

Date 24/6/16

Work on defences. Lt Noileen and Lt Hamilton and Evans and 144 other ranks joined the Battn from 54 Div Base Detail Camp Sidi Bishr.

Explore our Glossary to discover any unfamiliar terms.


Blog Post

Stephanie Blog 1

Introducing Stephanie!

Stephanie -working

My name is Stephanie and I am studying Digital Humanities at University College London (UCL). I am half Peruvian and half Italian with dual nationality, but have lived in Peru my entire life. Three years ago I moved to London to study Digital Marketing at King’s College and I ended up staying here. Then I started working for a StartUp, a medical platform that mainly tried to connect patients and doctors in a more efficient way. Next I worked in a NGO in charge of promoting civil education programmes of freedom, liberty, peace and justice and overall the consolidation of democracy. I really enjoyed my time working there but I wanted to learn more about digital humanities and how to analyse data so that is why I applied to study at UCL.

I love culture, history and languages -I speak Spanish, English and Italian, and would like to learn many more! I like teaching and meeting new people, and particularly to learn more about their culture. My hobby is to do horseback riding and go to the movies. My first motivation to work at Islington Museum is the fact that I wanted to learn more about the place I am living right now. I also will know the history behind each aspect of Islington Borough and how that is reflected in modern life here. By working here I am hoping to help in anyway I can to enhance the database system of the Museum and also improve some areas that are not been well developed.