Introducing the Archivist…

Having been in post for a month now, I thought it was about time I introduced myself and also begin to introduce some of the ‘treasures’ that I am finding.

A bit of a blurry image, but this is me, Nancy Charley. I’m a newly qualified archivist having come into the profession after raising my family. I really enjoyed studying the Masters course at University College London last academic year and I am now enjoying putting all that learning into practice. I have the delightful task of working my way through all the papers that have been deposited with the Society. These are papers connected to the running of the Society throughout its lifetime (there are letters here concerned with the founding of the Society) and papers are connected with some of the many eminent members from the Society’s history.

Photograph of the Coronation Banquet held by the RAS at the Hotel Metropole, London in 1902

The archive has been a little neglected, and though generally well stored down in the strongroom, it hasn’t, for the most part, been organised and catalogued. So that’s where I come in – I am looking to get all of the archives online in the coming months using Archives Hub as our portal to make them accessible for researchers. It is early days and currently I am opening up boxes and listing what I find, so I can then put everything in its ‘right’ place to make the catalogue easy to use. The photograph above is one I listed this morning. It shows the RAS entertaining Indian Princes prior to Edward VII’s coronation. Here’s the menu card:

Ten courses for a guinea a head – that £1.05 in modern money! It would be great if money still stretched that far.

Another celebratory item I found today was this pattern for a Gold Medal to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

It is a real privilege to be able to work my way through all these ‘treasures’ and then to make them accessible for others to research and enjoy. If you have any questions about the archives please contact me on nc@royalasiaticsociety.org or leave your comments on this blog.