Ref NoOHP/112
TitleGeoffrey Whatmore
Date14 December 2012
Extent2 WAV audio files (243.7 MB)
Creator NameWhatmore; Geoffrey; librarian
DescriptionInterview with Geoffrey Whatmore, Manchester Guardian librarian. Conducted by Richard Nelsson on 14 December 2012. Recorded at Whatmore's home in Worcestershire.

Summary contents of interview (with rough timings):

Disc 1:
Track 1
00.10 Introductions
00.20 How he came to join the Manchester Guardian in 1951
00.35 The need for a professional librarian at the newspaper
01.15 Remembers the physical state of the library on his arrival. Piles of newspapers waiting to be catalogued
03.40 Moved to London
04.00 Had been working as a librarian at the Nottingham Journal. Advertisement in the Economist for a librarian at an unamed national newspaper
05.10 Advertisement for a qualified librarian with experience of working for a national newspaper
05.20 Informal interview
06.20 Offered job at the newspaper
06.45 Read the Guardian and other newspapers whilst at the Nottingham Journal. Had occasionally contributed to the Miscellany column
07.40 How the library looked at the Cross Street offices
08.15 Remembers Marjorie Wakefield indexing
09.00 The state of the newspaper cuttings collection. Headings unchanged over years

10.00 Created own classification system
10.30 Guardian staff began to use the library
11.00 Getting to know the staff who used the library
11.10 Remembers Alastair Hetherington, Paddy Monkhouse and John Anderson. Support of Anderson for the library
11.40 Suspicion over appointment of professional librarian
13.00 Interesting to interact with staff.
13.30 Remembers Jan Morris' return from Everest expedition
14.00 Managing the books collections. Unsure whether he was in charge of books so did not touch the books for the first year
14.40 Decision to organise books. Upset caused by rearranging books according to the Dewey classification system
15.10 Remembers George Wainwright. Books kept locked away with Wainwright in possession of keys
17.00 Never finished cataloguing books
17.15 Indexing by Wakefield
18.00 Responsbile for photographs, mainly photo agency prints
19.30 Close relationship with Manchester Public Library. Loaning of books
19.40 Member of Library Association

20.00 Relations with other newspapers.
21.10 Cuttings files originally arranged by subject. Created personality files
22.00 Obituaries
24.50 Employing more library staff including more qualified librarians
25.40 Remembers librarian Harry King who left the Guardian for the Scott Polar Research Institute. Followed by librarian Frank Singleton
26.00 Remembers Singleton

Track 2
00.09 Atmosphere of the Guardian in the 1950s
01.25 Remembers incident where Joe Maloy of the Philadelphia Inquirer library appeared late one night
02.10 People drifted into the library
03.00 Remembers colleagues at the newspaper
03.55 Remembers Hetherington
04.18 Library under editorial management
04.50 Approaching the editor
06.10 Memories of working during the Suez crisis
06.58 Decision to leave the Guardian. Desire to work in London
07.25 Gained job at the British Institute of Management running information management
08.20 Joined the Daily Mirror where he worked for over 10 years
08.45 Singleton became the Guardian librarian after his departure
09.10 Hierarchies at the Guardian

10.00 Socialising at the newspaper
11.50 Outside interests of staff
12.55 Left the Daily Mirror for the BBC
13.30 Lessons learnt at the Guardian
13.45 Remembers atmosphere at the Daily Mirror
14.10 Fondness for time spent at the BBC. His favourite job being at the Nottingham Journal
14.33 Recalls journalists from Nottingham Journal who later worked on Fleet Street including sports journalist Don Mosey and political commentator Walter Terry
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsAccess to recording via the GNM Digital Repository
FormatElectronic record
CopyrightGuardian News & Media Ltd and Geoffrey Whatmore

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