Another important element of the bus is the creation of an Social History archive. Partly as a continuation of the work begun during Andover’ recent Encounters art project, and partly as a response to public requests, this will be an ongoing public-art project.
The bus will create its own archive to be stored and upon occasion displayed inside the bus, harking back to its library origins. A recording desk will be available at the back of the bus. This fully accessible facility will allow people to leave their stories with the bus. They will be able to record verbal anecdotes, and scan photos, clippings and objects. There is, according to Jenny Stevens, (curator of Andover Museum) a significant gap in recent and contemporary social history. This ongoing curated project will serve its artistic and documentary purposes as well as that of the museums. Like the response to the vintage Andover video-footage during Encounters, the public were overwhelmingly engaged with the opportunity to share their stories, passions and knowledge.
So, the Bus of Many Things will also be an Ethnographic Bus.
What is Ethnography?
A brief description of it can be found from Wikipedia:
“Ethnography is the systematic study of people and cultures.
It is designed to explore cultural phenomena where the researcher observes society from the point of view of the subject of the study.
An ethnography is a means to represent graphically and in writing the culture of a group. The word can thus be said to have a “double meaning,” which partly depends on whether it is used as a count noun or uncountably. The resulting field study or a case report reflects the knowledge and the system of meanings in the lives of a cultural group.”