The Wiener Library

For the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide


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Senior Section Girlguides Curate Reading Room Exhibition

This week three enthusiastic young women from the Girlguiding London and South East Region (LASER) have curated a special exhibition in the Library’s Reading Room to mark International Youth Day. Receiving guidance from Katy Jackson, Community and Outreach Officer, the team researched and selected 9 artefacts from the Library’s archives related to the experiences of young people specifically highlighting the challenges that young people faced, not just in the early years of the Nazi regime but also when making lives for themselves afterwards, often abroad and without their families. 

The exhibition is organised into three interconnecting themes. The first case examines the increasingly oppressive nature of the Nazi regime, both overt and subtle, and its impact on the lives of young people. It also highlights the foresight of Alfred Wiener in preserving evidence that would otherwise have been destroyed or lost, which forms the basis of the library's collection today. The second case looks in more detail at the individual experiences of a number of young people. Included are the stories of a boy scout, a children's rescuer, a Kindertransportee and a radical young German-Barbadian. The final case documents various measures taken by the British Government in response to children fleeing the Nazi regime, and the reactions and reflections of these young people on their experiences.

The team (photographed) said of the project:

Natalie Godfrey, “although it was challenging, the research was one of the things I enjoyed the most as going through all the documents gave a great insight to the time and it was very interesting seeing documents from almost 80 years ago.”  

Hannah Jenner, “I've been an enthusiastic museum volunteer for several years, and having completed my masters in Museums in Education this represented a step up – a real chance to get behind the scenes and be a curator for a week.”

Madeline White, “I am so excited about what we’ve produced: to be able to research and put together an exhibition in four days is quite an achievement, and there is no way on Thursday morning I thought we’d be where we are now. I have learnt so much throughout this process, from how to critically think about the aims of exhibitions and display spaces to the methods by which those aims are conveyed, as well as all the technical processes involved in storing, handling and researching archive material. It has been a fantastic opportunity to spend so much time getting to grips with the library’s resources.”

The exhibition runs from Monday 18 August to Friday 19 September with free entry.


Added: Friday 8th August, 2014