As i continue with my History Masters i will probably be needing to consult archives at some stage so i thought it would be a good idea to go along to the archives at Birmingham Central Library now to get some idea of what to do. I also needed to get a County Archives Research Network (CARN) card to get me access to the inner sanctums that are archives rooms.
The staff were ever so helpful, showing me around the archive room, what indices were available and how to request a source. I had something i wanted to look at and the staff kindly waived the usual waiting time to get the source so i could have a look today. What was the source? Well it was the plans for a proposed hostel for canal boat children in Erdington.
The plans were duly found and unrolled onto a map table and i was given plenty of weights to keep the various sheets under control (could do with some of these at home). The plans were interesting, it seems there was a proposal in the late 1940s to build a hostel for canal boat children on what looks to have been adjacent to the Jaffray Hospital site at Woodend House by Jaffray Crescent. I don't think they ever went ahead with the project which seems like it would have been a pleasant building with coloured asphalt and dados!
Something to look more into at some stage perhaps. Now i have at least some idea about what to do. Soon the library will be moving to the new building of course and that looks more and more impressive every time i see it.