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Community archives update, 27/08/2014

August 27, 2014

Having been unable to attend the grand opening back in June, this week I am finally going to get the opportunity to see the D-Day 70th Anniversary exhibition at Bishop’s Waltham Museum. The display focuses on the villages involvement in this crucial moment of the Second World War. Also during my visit I will be collecting for deposit in the Wessex Film and Sound Archive, copies of over forty oral history recordings of local people’s memories, produced by the Museum volunteers as part of the project.

Tanks close to Bishop's Waltham before D-Day, 1944 Hampshire Record Office, 217M84/37/86

Tanks close to Bishop’s Waltham before D-Day, 1944
Hampshire Record Office, 217M84/37/86

Regular followers of the blog may recall we have worked on a number of activities with Bishop’s Waltham Museum over the years covering a variety of themes including an ongoing project to research all the buildings in the local area. We haven’t been directly involved in their D-Day project but we did help introduce them to the D-Day Museum in Portsmouth who provided funding as part of a Heritage Lottery Fund bid. Also I know volunteers from the Museum have been regular visitors to the Hampshire Archives and Local Studies searchroom and so it will be fascinating to see the sources they have discovered and used. The free exhibition is open to the public 2-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays until 21 September 2014. Once received the oral history recordings will soon be catalogued and made available to researchers in our searchroom (http://www3.hants.gov.uk/wfsa/wfsa-catalog.htm).
Mark Pitchforth, archivist
Hampshire Record Office

Community archives update, 15/8/2014

August 15, 2014
Soldiers' journey

Do you know someone who’s been touched by war?

Hampshire Archives and Local Studies is taking part in the Soldiers’ Journey art project which invites you to remember all those affected by war by writing their name on a recreated First World War identity tag and posting it in one of the Soldiers’ Journey boxes found at various locations across the county including the Hampshire Archives and Local Studies searchroom. Tags from across Hampshire will become part of an artwork by artist Susie MacMurray in the Great Hall, Winchester, to be on show Feb-Mar 2015. It will be an aerial display suspended from the Great Hall’s roof, hovering above drifts of the discs representing the identity tags of fallen soldiers. For more information e-mail arts.office@hants.gov.uk or go to http://www3.hants.gov.uk/1914/1914-about.htm.

Come to Hampshire Record Office and add a name to one of the tags to become part of artist Susie MacMurray's work

Come to Hampshire Record Office, add a name to one of the tags and become part of artist Susie MacMurray’s work in the Great Hall, Winchester

Community archive update, 7/8/2014

August 7, 2014

This week the Chairman of Hampshire County Council hosted a Hampshire Commemorates exhibition in the Great Hall in Winchester showcasing historic materials from Hampshire County Council and other partners to mark the centenary of the First World War and provide a taster of some of the exhibitions and information available across the county. The display included exhibition panels produced by Hampshire Archives and Local Studies showing photographs and documents taken from our collections.

Image courtesy of Hampshire Fire Service

Hampshire Archives and Local Studies First World War exhibition at the Great Hall, Winchester. Image courtesy of Hampshire Fire Service

To discover more about the First World War related archives we hold go to http://www3.hants.gov.uk/archives/hals-collections/ww1.htm, access our catalogue at http://www3.hants.gov.uk/archives/catalog.htm, visit our designated Facebook page Voices of the First World War or come in to our searchroom and speak to staff who will be happy to help.

Part of the Hampshire Archives and Local Studies First World War exhibition at the Great Hall, Winchester

Part of the Hampshire Archives and Local Studies First World War exhibition at the Great Hall, Winchester

Community archives update, 29/07/2014

July 29, 2014

Over the last few days the Hampshire Archives and Local Studies Facebook page, created as part of our work to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, has included some fascinating postings. By exploring our archive collections including diaries, letters, photographs and other historical material from the period the page Voices of the First World War, is attempting to tell the story of this momentous event through the eyes of local people. So far we have had extracts from the diary of Miss Sidney Margaret Courtney of Winchester who was in Switzerland in the run up to the outbreak of war and from ‘The War Chronicles’, a special war diary kept by Lady Laura Ridding. There’s also been copies of correspondence between Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Secretary (who had links to Hampshire, see this weeks lecture) and Sir Edward Goschen, British Ambassador to Berlin regarding the growing European crisis. Images have included a postcard received by Blanche Bellairs of Winchester from her brother Charlie, while he was serving in the First World War with the 21 Battalion Canadian Regiment, a photograph of the Volunteer Brigade of the Hampshire Regiment marching down Winchester High Street and press cuttings from the Hampshire Chronicle and Daily Graphic.
There’s lots more to come and if you have an interest in the history of the First World War on a local level it would be really worthwhile keeping an eye on our timeline. You also have the opportunity to post your own material and comments. For example one person recently posted a fabulous family photograph of his grandfather and grandmother with their four sons all in uniform from just after the end of the war. Go to https://www.facebook.com/VoicesWW1 to find out more.

Group photograph of headquarters staff, King's Royal Rifle Corps in India dated February 1914, just a few months before the outbreak of the First World War. Part of the Royal Green Jackets Regimental Archive held at Hampshire Record Office Hampshire Record Office reference: 170A12W/P/3322

Headquarters staff, King’s Royal Rifle Corps in India, Feb 1914. Just a few months before the outbreak of the First World War.
Part of the Royal Green Jackets Regimental Archive held at Hampshire Record Office
Hampshire Record Office reference: 170A12W/P/3322

Community archives update, 21/07/2014

July 21, 2014

The Portsmouth History Fair last week was an enjoyable and interesting event. It was well attended by members of the public, mostly from the city but there were also a decent number from across Hampshire. Many colleagues from local museums, libraries, societies and archives were also present making it a great chance to network and forge new links. Areas of interest varied from general family and local history to more specific enquiries about railway records, First World War research, historic film material and house history. Some were just starting out and needed reassurance on how to begin, others were much further down the line, had hit a brick wall and were looking for new suggestions to try. By being there I was able to give advice, direct people to our website, encourage them to visit our searchroom or pass on suggestions of other useful contacts for them to try. Many people were drawn in by a selection of Wessex Film and Sound Archive film clips which I had taken with me, along with our usual banner display and leaflets about our services, facilities and collections. The event as a whole seemed to be a great success and hopefully we will be able to take part again next year.

Coming up this week I will be hosting an evening visit to the Record Office by the Basingstoke HGS (Hampshire Genealogical Society). They will be able to see first hand how the archive works, get a feel for the layout of the building and get up close and personal with some original material including maps, plans, photographs and other useful sources. Evening visits of this kind are particularly good for banishing any apprehension first time visitors might have about using Hampshire Record Office and hopefully instilling them with the confidence to make maximum use of our collections, facilities and services in the future.

Previous Swanmore Village Archive exhibition on the history of the village, 'Swanmore Past and Present'

Previous Swanmore Village Archive exhibition on the history of the village, ‘Swanmore Past and Present’


Coming up in two weeks time Swanmore Village Archive, a group which we have worked with a great deal over the last few years is launching a local First World War exhibition to commemorate the centenary of the start of the conflict and those from the village who were involved. The project was made possible in part by Hampshire County Council funding and the Record Office has loaned the group equipment which will hopefully help make the event a success. It is free admission on Saturday 2 August, 10am-5pm and Sunday 3 August, 11am-5pm in the Paterson Centre, Swanmore.

Mark Pitchforth, archivist
Hampshire Record Office

Community archives update, 15/07/2014

July 15, 2014
Launch of First World War exhibition at Liphook Heritage Centre, 8 Jul 2014

Launch of First World War exhibition at Liphook Heritage Centre, 8 Jul 2014

If you read the previous Community archives blog you will know that last week I visited Liphook Heritage Centre for the official launch of their First World War centenary and D-Day 70th anniversary exhibitions. The evening was a great success, well attended by enthusiastic local people with two great displays to enjoy to mark two important moments in history and highlight the local impact they had. Also on show was artwork produced by pupils from Bohunt School and Liphook Junior school who had completed a project based on the presence of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces at Bramshott Camp during the First World War. Several pupils collected awards for their work on the night but all contributions added to the impressive display. The project as a whole was made possible in part thanks to a Hampshire County Council grant and the Record Office contributed with advice, information and through our archive collections.
The two free exhibitions are now open to the public (More details: http://www.liphookheritage.org.uk/events).
Mark Pitchforth, archivist
Hampshire Record Office

Pupils from local schools produced artwork inspired by the Canadian troops in the area during the First World War

Pupils from local schools produced artwork inspired by the Canadian troops in the area during the First World War

Community archives update, 7/7/2014

July 7, 2014

Working in conjunction with Hampshire Museums Service, today we welcomed to the Record Office members of the Alton’s Invasion project team. The project aim is to investigate the experiences of Altonians during the First World War particularly in relation to the Scottish regiments billeted in the town at the start of the conflict. During their visit the group enjoyed a short talk on Record Office services, facilities and collections, a tour of the building and a small exhibition of related archive sources. It will be interesting to see how they make use of our collections in their research and the eventual results of the project.

Previous exhibition at Liphook Heritage Centre

Previous exhibition at Liphook Heritage Centre


Also this week I will be visiting Liphook Heritage Centre for the official launch of their World War 1 and D-Day exhibitions. The displays were made possible in part thanks to a Hampshire County Council grant and the Record Office has contributed to the project with advice, information and through our archive collections. Liphook Heritage Centre is a group which we have worked with extensively over several years and a large number of their volunteers have attended our Archive Ambassador training days. I look forward to seeing what they have produced, during what I’m sure will be an enjoyable and informative evening. The two exhibitions will be open to the public from Wednesday 9 July (More details: http://www.liphookheritage.org.uk/events).

Finally don’t forget Hampshire Archives and Local Studies and Wessex Film and Sound Archive have been invited to take part in the Portsmouth History Fair at Portsmouth Central Library, Guildhall Square this Saturday (12 July). Hope to see you there.

Mark Pitchforth, Archivist
Hampshire Record Office

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