The Memory Archives – 2019

The Public Programme

Culture& is developing the second instalment of our ‘Memory Archives’ project, launching as a ‘Sensory Box’, to be delivered to care homes under restriction during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ‘Memory Archives’ is a project which addresses key mental health, wellbeing and diversity issues, through a new public programme based around animating the Culture& archives in collaboration with the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) and the Friends of the Huntley Archives at the LMA (FHALMA). It is an innovative approach to working with people living with dementia, particularly those from BAME communities, through using archival material as a memory stimulating device to address the experiences of diaspora and cultural dislocation.

In 2019, the project involved digitising and curating a selection of global cultural sound material from the Huntley archives, and the Culture& archive, which contains 30 years of our public programmes around music. The realisation of this was be a multi-sensory space: a curated collection of digital and physical experiences and objects with which heritage was be recollected and relived.



The West Indian Front Room
Artist Michael McMillan’s iconic installation that recalls the best room in the Caribbean home of the 1960s

Caribbean Folk Music Workshop
Flute, percussion, song and storytelling with Keith Waithe and Sandra Agard

Interactive sound and visual archives
Accessible recordings and documents from the Culture& and Friends of the Huntley Archives at the London Metropolitan Archives

Homemade Caribbean Refreshments
Tasty Caribbean treats made with traditional ingredients and recipes

The ‘Memory Archives’ project is based on research and development we have conducted in association with the University of West London on creative approaches to supporting people living with dementia through artistic and creative activities. Research shows that music has positive benefits for people living with dementia, stimulating memory and communication. There is also public health evidence demonstrating that BAME people have higher risks of developing dementia, and more difficulty accessing care. Therefore, this important project addresses a cultural as well as a health and social need.

The ‘Memory Archives’ launched on Windrush Day, Saturday 22 June 2019 11am-3pm at the London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, Farringdon, London EC1R 0HB.


Image: Courtesy of the Huntley Archives at the London Metropolitan Archives.