Disruption of the National Office
The usual calm has been disrupted by a dramatic push to sort out the archive-holding which goes back many decades. Files, boxes and folders have been unearthed from cupboards and removed from a stack that was against the office back wall.
The factors leading to this turn of events are varied and include the desire of the Chairman & Treasurer to regain some of their home from the16 year tenure of the Association. Also with the imminent loss of core staffing it has become necessary to rationalise our operation. The good news in all of this has been the discovery or re-discovery of important papers that chart the development of the ECA from the time of World War 2 up to the present.
We have had wonderful assistance from academic historian Mark Freeman who knows the earlier history going back to the days of the Educational Settlements Association and their links to the Quaker Rowntrees. Mark is now based at the London Institute of Education where happily the remainder of the archive is already housed. This has been the source of articles by Mark who is anxious to see more of the material secured.
Thanks to the continuing support of Mark and archivist Sarah Aitchison, also of the Institute of Education, a new home has already been identified for these important papers.
Documents from the early 1940s, found previously by Konrad Elsdon, formed the basis for his book 'Crisis of Opportunity', that was published posthumously by NIACE. That evidence is likely to be re-visited in due course as it reflects the powerful advocacy for adult education that took place during the height of the conflict. Together with other material that the Institute already holds it is believed that this helps tell the story of 'peace-making' that was being planned well before the war ended.
Date Added: April 10th 2014