MERL archive contributes to US National History Day

Written by Guy Baxter, University Archivist.

MERL, along with academic colleagues at the University of Reading, has contributed to a documentary film made by a middle school student for the US National History Day. The film, entitled “Operation Pied Piper: Balancing Parental Rights and Government Responsibility”, drew on the Evacuee Archive, the Humphrey Fisher Archive and also featured interviews with Dr Jacqui Turner (History) and Dr Martin Parsons (retired from the Institute of Education, who founded the Evacuee Archive).


We are proud to announce that student Hayley Hocking achieved fourth place overall in the Junior Individual Documentary category and won the California State prize for an outstanding entry. Everyone at MERL would like to congratulate Hayley, who is a student at the Frank Augustus Miller Middle School in Riverside on her achievement. President Obama attended the awards ceremony.

US National History Day aims to “make history come alive for students by engaging them in the discovery of the historical, cultural and social experiences of the past. Through hands-on experiences and presentations, today’s kids are better able to inform the present and shape the future.” For more details see the National History Day website.

The Evacuee Archive at MERL contains written memoirs, oral history interviews and some research material relating to former evacuees and war-children gathered by the Research Centre for Evacuee and War Child Studies at the University of Reading. The collection mainly relates to evacuation schemes within Britain and the British children who were sent overseas to Canada, the USA, South Africa, and Australasia during the Second World War. Operation Pied Piper (the evacuation of children from British cities) was the most prominent of these operations. For more details see this link.

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