Appropriation – Archives – Vernacular

Our understanding of history is personal, due to what we are taught, told and read, everyone has a personal view and knowledge on history. When it comes to how we read, different items can often also relate to our own personal history and experiences. On a visit to the Herbert Gallery in Coventry we visited the History Archive section, showcasing a range of archive material thought the years, some items dating many years back. When looking around it is clear to see that for some people these items will mean something to them whereas others wouldn’t, depending on their age, their life experiences and what they have been taught. I found it interesting how each item, when looking at it, meant something different to me. An example of this is looking at a collection of 90’s children’s toys, to children now most of these couldn’t mean anything, however to me when looking at them they brought back many memories of my childhood, personal memories that would mean something to me but not to most people. When people of my age and older look at these toys, each person would have a personal memory that means something to them. The toys make you think about your past and reminisce. Another example is clothing, I found it interesting to look through the clothes from the 90’s, these fashions that went out of fashion can now be seen to come back into fashion. I could see elements of older fashions that are now used in clothing today, the influence of older clothes can be seen.

I feel that it is important to visit galleries and see archives in person as if you were to only read about these items in a book they would be less impactful, people would not get to see their detail, they would not make links to different items with their own past. Reading will less likely stimulate memories and create a personal reading whereas in person the items are more recognisable.

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