The University of Brighton is seeking local residents’ Moulsecoomb memories for a new oral history and heritage project that will be exploring the changes taking place around the University of Brighton’s Moulsecoomb campus.
The Mapping Mithras project – named after Mithras House, which sits at the heart of the campus on Lewes Road – aims to capture local community, student and staff perspectives on the rich and varied history of this corner of Brighton.
Project organisers are looking for community input and volunteers to help collect memories in the form of oral histories which will help form both mobile and permanent exhibitions in the area, plus other learning resources.
The project team will be offering free oral history training this spring to those getting involved with Mapping Mithras, as well as public events and building tours. They will draw on existing community archives and history groups located in the area, alongside Moulsecoomb’s public library and The Keep.
Dr Deborah Madden, Principal Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Science and director of the research Centre for Memory Narrative and Histories said: “This project will explore the history of Mithras House and its precursor, the Allen West factory, and the local Lewes Road area. We want to encourage members of the community, both past and present, to share their memories and to help us collect the memories of others in this part of the city.
“The resources we gather will open up social and community histories, alongside histories of neighbouring Bates Estate, Saunders Park and Bevendean. Saunders Park will be one hundred years old in 2024, so there is scope for this history to be folded into our project too. Together, we want to strengthen local connections through community research and oral history.
Working with local stakeholders including schools, community groups and businesses, we are looking forward to designing, developing and delivering a programme of creative activity that will highlight the area’s rich history and give creative expression to diverse voices and stories from our past”.
The project’s outputs will be displayed at the University of Brighton’s Moulsecoomb campus, where Mithras House itself is undergoing renovation to provide spaces for learning and research, including a home for the School of Humanities and Social Science. They will also tour further afield in the local schools, community centres and libraries.
The website at blogs.brighton.ac.uk/mithras will provide regular updates as the project progresses.
If you are interested in participating, please contact project manager Nicola Benge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nicola will also be sharing work on the project on Twitter via @benge_nicola using the hashtag #MappingMithras.
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An aerial photograph of Moulsecoomb and surrounding area circa 2017.
Moulsecoomb Campus, University of Brighton, with Mithras House in the foreground, looking over the most recent developments of the campus area.
Aerial photograph of Mithras House on the university's Moulsecoomb Campus, and surrounding houses, circa 2000.