In the course of researching London’s fractured temporal boundaries Portals of London has accumulated a library of material evidence (forgotten books, deleted social media, strips of decaying microfilm, etc). While many of these are referenced on the blog, there are some items that haven’t found an obvious home in our reporting. These deserve a wider audience.
When I mentioned the matter to scholars and amateur portologists, I was advised to do two things:
First, share all findings with Maeve Atkins of the Redriff Society. The Rotherhithe Archive began as a box-file of newspaper clippings and other ephemera, kept on a shelf in Maeve’s ramshackle Rotherhithe studio. Its heart still lies in that paper library, but the Archive is now plugged into a hidden online network, existing as hard copy in motion across the city, passed between the growing number of us who work to recollect London’s strange reality.
The second thing I was told about the Archive was that I would need a codename – and that it should be the name of a species of bird found in London. This was more for fun than secrecy, as far as I could tell. Indeed, most of my fellow avians support Portals of London’s goal in widening public knowledge of our field.
Readers of Portals of London will recognise some of those who contribute to the Archive. There is Susan Macks (Raven) Professor of Gateways and the Multiverse at the University of Connecticut; Graham Herod (Peregrine), a former City of London tour guide and expert in untethered architecture; and ‘H’ (Cormorant), a cycle courier hooked into the city’s strange byways.
There is Iqbal Mahmud (Wren), a student historian and seeker of the mysterious Black House; Jason Allen (Parakeet); whose own weird experiences informed his investigations; and of course Maeve herself (Egret) : esoteric mudlarker, Archive administrator and all-round sage figure to the network.
It is with Egret’s blessing – and a hearty thumbs up from Raven – that I begin to open the Rotherhithe Archive to the public.
Browse the Rotherhithe Archive here or click on a link below: