Word Power

Company: Bogle-L’Ouverture Publications Limited
Sector: Media
Impact: Corporate responsibility; Corporate identity
Sponsor: Company directors, Eric and Jessica Huntley
Timescale: July 2004 - ongoing

Project brief

Working in collaboration with London Metropolitan Archives, the regional archives for London run by the City of London Corporation, the owners of Bogle-L’Ouverture loaned their extensive publishing archive to be preserved for posterity within public sector archives. They aimed to:

  • celebrate and disseminate the company’s published works and history to new cross-generational audiences
  • educate and empower other communities and promote their histories
  • demonstrate leadership to other community elders and friends with similar un-exploited business archive collections
  • save the archives from deterioration and neglect
  • free up office storage space
  • generate office storage space cost-savings
Word…Through it we re-record the contributions of the Windrush generation while grounding, educating and empowering the younger generation in our communities.
Jessica Huntley, Founder and Director, 2009
The acquisition of this business archive has opened doors into the wider community. The successful collaboration is… inspiring new deposits from key individuals from the Black Caribbean community*
Richard Wiltshire, Senior Archivist, London Metropolitan Archives 2009

Business archives used by the team

  • Photographs relating to the company’s publishing and bookselling activities which include poetry readings, book launches, visits by artists and academics as well as racists attacks on the bookshop, 1960s-80s
  • Artwork of published books, 1970s-90s showing publishing design history
  • Book of condolence commemorating the life of Walter Rodney, 1980
  • Notes by Eric Huntley on founding of the business, 1980-90s
  • Correspondence between the Huntleys and international political figures, including letter from Cheddi Jagan, President of Guyana,1960s

Outcomes and business benefit

  • The archives are now embedded and regularly exploited in LMA’s published education/interpretation programme, with no financial cost to Bogle-L’Ouverture.
  • Annual conferences organised by the Friends of the Huntley Archives at LMA (FHALMA) keep Bogle-L’Ouverture aware of emerging new authors, promote book sales and raise company profile.
  • The archives are now catalogued, providing clarity over what is held and assisting the wider brief of realising the educational and cultural potential of the collection.
  • There is high research interest in the archive from a wide cross section of the community.
  • Jessica Huntley was remembered at her funeral in 2013 as 'Jessica the Archivist' wth a eulogy given by Richard Wiltshire.

* ‘Black’ refers to persons with an African ancestry. ‘Caribbean’ includes all the other groups found in the region.