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New exhibition features Hull Libraries’ hidden history archives

Hull’s rich history will be examined via a new collection of Hull Libraries’ hidden reference collections.

The Stacks 2. Intermittence is the latest look at publications stored for over a century, buried deep in the archives.

Artist Matt Fratson has put the collection together, following thorough research conducted during a six-month project at Hull Libraries.

It will run at the Central Library from Saturday 2 September until Saturday 30 September.

The Stacks is an ongoing project run by Hull Libraries to explore books, periodicals, maps and records, with material dating back to the early 19th century.

The Stacks 2. Intermittence is the follow-up to The Stacks: Bodies of Work, held at the Central Library in 2021.

Matt said: “Intermittence really builds on the foundation we laid with the Stacks pilot project a couple of years ago, and for me represents a much deeper and more multifaceted alignment between the material we’ve selected from the hidden reference collections, and my own personal concerns and questions around climate and memory.

“The exhibition contains a real diversity of different formats and experiences, from presentations of precious articles and journals from the 18th century, through to a projected film piece in which I return to my fondness for learning through Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness books as a child.

“Collectively, these relationships between memory, weathering and natural patterns circle around one another, and through contrasts between historical and contemporary attitudes we are able to gain a better understanding of how different spheres of influence affect the ways we both interpret and impact the changing world around us.”

Rebecca Binnington, librarian at Hull Libraries, said: “It’s great to be able to display these discoveries once again.

“The vast reference collections held at the Central Library are a treasure trove, forming a story that delves into our shared history of the past few hundred years.

“This exhibition explores our historical understanding of climate change, including the way we record, interpret, and understand climate shift.

“Human activity has been the main driver of climate change since the 1800s, and these archives look into the contrasts – and tensions – between personal memories and more collective remembrances.”

Portfolio holder for culture and leisure, Councillor Rob Pritchard, said: “Our city has a fascinating history, and the treasures held in our library archives can help us to learn so much about our past.

“It’s exhibitions like this that allow us to understand the rich depth of information we have in our libraries, and why they’re such a valuable resource.”

The exhibition has been curated by The Aimless Archive, and is funded by the James Reckitt Library Trust.

Admission is free, with no prior booking required.

For more information on Hull Central Library, visit Central Library | Hull Culture and Leisure (hcandl.co.uk)

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