With the festive period almost upon us it’s time for the Minton Archive website to go into the internet equivalent of a mince-pie-induced food coma. Before that, however, tradition dictates we must take a look back at the year’s work and – more importantly – pick out another Hildesheimer & Faulkner Christmas card to decorate the site with!
We began the year with a catalogue update which enhanced the usability of our Book Reader and zoomable viewer – both accessible through the “Interactive” tab of selected records – and immediately took advantage of these tweaks by publishing a browsable version of Marc Louis Solon’s Pâte sur Pâte and a hi-res collection of Pugin designs.
A month or so later we took to the blog to admit that – for the second time – we’d been unable to resist purchasing a piece of Minton earthenware to call our own but would try and look a little less tragic by using it to further explore the Archive’s pattern books and estimate books. We think we got away with it 😉
On the 1st April our Twitter account @MintonArchive began a “tweeted-history” of the Minton company under the #WadsworthsHistoryofMinton hashtag. Based on Philip and Zillah Wadsworth’s monumental “Minton” manuscript this bitesized adaptation would eventually total 333 tweets and take 175 days to complete.
Righty-ho everyone, time to get started on the #WadsworthsHistoryofMinton! We’re hoping to tweet at least once a day, we have no idea how many tweets it’ll take, and we haven’t quite finished absorbing the manuscript as we begin our thread, but what could possibly go wrong?![1/]
— The Minton Archive (@MintonArchive) April 1, 2020
Each week’s worth of tweets were brought together into handy round-ups which ran throughout the summer and finished on the Minton Archive website’s fifth anniversary, a wonderful surprise that we hadn’t planned when we first began posting back in the spring. It was therefore only right for this year’s Anniversary Update to begin (more on that “beginning” in a moment) with something closely related – an interactive timeline of the company featuring important dates we’d highlighted in our tweets and originally plucked from the “Minton” manuscript itself.
This timeline was just one of three Anniversary Updates which concentrated on small but important additions to the site and online catalogue – a direction we took due to the significantly reduced time we were able to spend with the collection during the year. In October AU2 made good on a promise we’d made way back in 2017 (oops!) to digitise the Kensington Studio volume and in November we released a set of browsable Exhibitions Estimate Books for AU3.
As always, we’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas from the Minton Archive – we’ll be back in the new year with more Folio Fridays, more updates, and a continuing exploration of this wonderful collection. See you in 2021!