Memories: personal information discovery and documentary explored through the medium of clothes

librarian shoesImage from Library_mistress on flickr under licence.

Will Hoon, Fiona MacLellan & Georgina Dimmock are creating this submission. Memories: personal information discovery and documentary explored through the medium of clothes.

Our clothes are more than objects that protect us from the elements; they also perform a variety of complex social and cultural functions.  They help us encode gender, they shape and present our bodies, they tie us to notions of class and social status and they help us integrate into wider social groups.  They also hold and invoke powerful memories.  In short we use garments and dress as a form of non-verbal language and identity.  In February 2013, groups of Fashion students at the University of Northampton were asked to create video-based presentations based around their personal memories of a garment or an outfit.     Through the act of producing videos, each student group went on a journey of research, documentation, creation and dissemination, tackling a range of information issues in the process.

Many of the students captured powerful oral history accounts of their relatives discussing garments of significance within their family.  The culmination of the process was the production and dissemination of new information in the form of video.

Memories will be a short video incorporating excerpts from the students’ videos, as well as interviews with the students themselves and with the librarians and tutor supporting the project.  The video will reflect on the project and how librarians and tutors can support alternative information trails and skills, which often fall outside the bounds of formal information skills training. The video will open with an interview with tutor Will Hoon, discussing the students’ video brief and will also be structured around extracts from the students’ videos which showcase different aspects of the information discovery journey.  This will be interspersed with the librarians’ and tutor’s reflections.