Case Notes: The Avant-Garde in Hampstead
An author who was writing a book about a group of artists working in north London in the 1930s approached me to see if I could track down any references to his subjects among difficult-to-access newspapers and archival collections. I made it absolutely clear that the subject fell completely outside my normal professional purview, but archival research skills are often transferable and with a tightly defined brief, an agreed research plan, a handy personal contact at the National Gallery Archive and the necessary time available I was able to get to work.
A thorough trawl of a local north London newspaper (local newspapers are fascinating and much under-used sources) between 1932 and 1936, some ephemera at the Reuben Library at the BFI Southbank and the visitors books preserved in the National Gallery Archive were diverse sources which yielded a mass of fragmentary clues about the activities of the group of people in question. My client was delighted and commissioned further research on the basis of these results.