How the archive is organised
What state is it in; how is the archive organised?
Over a 16-month period from 2008, Meadows compiled a catalogue – a complete list of the subject matter covered by his 2,165 rolls of documentary pictures - and entered the data into a searchable database. The catalogue includes every film Meadows has ever taken (not every photograph).
“That was an epic piece of work…” says Meadows,” … just cataloguing – so all my documentary work is in order, they’re in archive boxes, they’re on the shelf in order, and everything’s labelled and numbered and there’s a reference document for finding the stuff in it. The reference document isn’t exhaustive but it was exhausting.“
“In the Factory (Meadows’ studio) I have negs, contact sheets, correspondence, and lots of other related documentation.
In his living room Meadows has his teaching materials, "which is all completely unsorted – Cardiff for 18 years, Newport for 10 years, and Hull before that. At each stage you get more cardboard boxes of slides and teaching materials. I don’t know when I’ll find time to sort all that out… I have ‘sod it’ moments and I’ve thrown things away.” All his books are in his office.
What compelled you to keep everything?
“Fear” says Meadows. “… I’m hyper-anxious. If anyone gives me money, I always think they’re going to take it away again. So I try and keep all the bits of paper that prove that it is mine.
“Fear was the initial reason for keeping things and I’ve also always been a big reader; I read all of Orwell in my late teens and early 20s and I was aware that letters were important things.”