Over the weekend I attended the Test Valley Records Society Annual Meeting hosted by the Andover History and Archaeology Society at Andover Museum. The event was really well attended by groups from across the region. A representative from each reported back on the activities they had been involved with through the year. Many had been engaged with projects to mark the First World War centenary and it was fascinating to see how the same theme could be approached in so many different ways. Others spoke of publications they had created, research that had been done and talks and visits they had enjoyed during the 12 months. I was also given a few minutes to share the news of the Record Office. I touched upon the review of our Saturday opening hours, the projects we had been involved with through the year and the events we have coming up in the next few months. Despite people being quite concise the number of groups present meant this process took quite a while so we were all very much ready for coffee and a biscuit by the time all had spoken. I know from talking to those present that the opportunity to chat over refreshments, sharing ideas, contacts and advice is a large part of why these get-togethers prove to be so useful.
After around 20 minutes we were rounded up and the formal meeting continued with a discussion on original archives passed to local history groups. It was really encouraging to hear how aware the groups were of the importance of keeping original records safe and secure and making them accessible to the public. Many had passed things to the Record Office for deposit and often digital copies had been created so that the information could remain in the local community. This led to a further discussion on the best way to maintain digital records to avoid them becoming unusable or obsolete. I was also able to highlight the Archive Ambassador training days which give guidance on archive preservation, cataloguing and digitisation as well as oral history recording. The final session of the morning was a fascinating talk by members of Romsey Local History Society on the Anglo-Saxon project they were embarking on in conjunction with the University of Winchester. As part of the project over the next three years the lower Test valley will be studied to see how the area was settled in the period between the Romans and the Normans.
We are delighted to have been invited to attend an event in Bordon on Saturday 22 November as part of the Bordon Reflections project. I met with members of the project earlier in the year to discuss how we could work together to help achieve their aim of enabling the local community to discover the history of the town, explore the present, and look to the future. For more information on the Bordon Reflections project contact Callum or Natalie on 01420472664 or email email@example.com.
This initial drop-in session at The Phoenix Theatre and Arts Centre is a chance for members of the public to share stories and memories about the history of Bordon as well as any interesting photographs and artefacts they may have relating to the town. I plan to take along a small selection of copy documents from our collections relating to Bordon including maps, plans and photographs which will hopefully help to spark memories and perhaps inspire some to look into the local history of the area in more detail. It will also be a great opportunity to pass on guidance relating to the care of historic documents, explain the process of depositing archives with us and to promote our services and collections more generally.
Mark Pitchforth, archivist
Hampshire Record Office
The latest Archive Ambassador training day scheduled for Wednesday 19 November is now fully booked but don’t panic as we’ve put a new date in place for Wednesday 18 February 2015. The day will include the usual programme of training in the areas of archive preservation, showing effective but simple ways to help preserve collections, cataloguing archive collections, with practical tips and advice on how to organise and catalogue your material, creating digital records and making collections e-accessible and a beginners guide to recording oral histories. By signing up you also receive a years free membership of Hampshire Archives Trust and a handbook which includes further information on more specialist areas such as copyright issues, the preservation of film and sound archive material and exhibitions.
The cost of the training day is £18 per person. The sessions have tended to book up well in advance so although the new date is months away it may be worth getting your name down early to avoid disappointment. To book ring 01962 846154 or send a cheque payable to Hampshire County Council to Hampshire Record Office, Sussex Street, Winchester, SO23 8TH.
Also don’t forget the talk on How to self-publish your book by Dr Alison Baverstock of Kingston University coming up next month, Wednesday 5 November, 2-3.30pm. More info: http://www3.hants.gov.uk/record-office/eventdetails-hro?id=249300
I am delighted to have been invited to represent Hampshire Record Office this month at the Test Valley Records Society Annual Meeting hosted by the Andover History and Archaeology Society at Andover Museum. It is a chance for local history groups from in and around the Test Valley area to get together to share ideas and information and report on the good work which has been done during the year. Hearing about all the impressive projects being undertaken is always quite inspiring and pleasing particularly when it transpires that the Record Office has played a part in making them happen whether through staff assistance or the use of our collections. After the reports members of Romsey Local History Society will make a presentation on the Anglo-Saxon project which several societies in the south of the valley and the University of Winchester are collaborating on. As part of the project the lower Test valley (south of the River Dun) will be studied to see how the area was settled in the period between the Romans and the Normans.
As well as hearing about all the good community archives work going on in the region I will have the opportunity to pass on the latest news from Hampshire Record Office including our ongoing work to mark the centenary of the First World War, new events and activities we have planned for the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015, recent additions to our collections with relevance to the local area and changes to our services and facilities. This opportunity to network has often proved beneficial prompting ideas for new projects, signing up new people for events, getting them into the searchroom or as occured last year securing sponsorship for part of a tithe map digitisation project.
Mark Pitchforth, archivist
Hampshire Record Office
Long term followers of the blog may recall that last year Hampshire Record Office hosted a talk in our cinema entitled Is there a book in you? by Dr Alison Baverstock of Kingston University. It was a beginners guide to becoming a writer and the response we had to it was very positive, with many people who attended requesting a follow up talk. Well I’m delighted to say that Dr Baverstock has kindly agreed to return on Wednesday 5 November 2014, 2-3.30pm, to build on the ideas she shared last year about how to get published – this time she will be concentrating on the options that exist for self-publishing. She will talk about what is going on in the market place, and the stages you need to consider in order to make a success of your self-publishing – whether you are aiming for an audience of thousands (in order to impress potential publishers that your concept is viable) or to just future generations of your family.
The charge for the talk is £8 per person, booking and payment in advance. To secure your place ring 01962 846154 or send a cheque payable to Hampshire County Council to Hampshire Record Office, Sussex Street, Winchester, SO23 8TH. As an added bonus Dr Baverstock’s guide to self-publishing The Naked Author will be available to purchase on the day with 1/3 off the usual purchase price.
Mark Pitchforth, archivist
Hampshire Record Office
This week we had the latest of our Archive Ambassador training days. The day started well with an illuminating talk by Tim Edwards our Head Conservator entitled ‘Keeping paper clips at bay!’ which was a beginners guide to the preservation of archives. after a short break where the group seemed to do some useful networking and sharing of ideas and experiences we moved on to archivist Stuart Bridges who offered practical tips and advice on how to organise archive material and an introduction to accessioning and cataloguing collections. This took us to a well deserved lunch break which most enjoyed in the sunshine on the balcony or in the Record Office garden. Having recharged their batteries the group were keen to tackle digital archives with Heather Needham, Principal Archivist. The final session of the day a ‘Beginners guide to oral history’ was led by David Rymill, archivist who shared his extensive experience of oral history recording over the years including some hilarious stories about his experiences and the memories he had gathered. We also looked at the equipment needed to effectively record interviews. The response throughout the day from the group was very positive and all seemed to go away having learnt new knowledge and gained new ideas to feed into their projects and activities.
A repeat of the training day is scheduled for November, full details can be found at http://www3.hants.gov.uk/record-office/eventdetails-hro?id=241612. To book your place or for more information ring 01962 846154.
Last weeks visit to Bishops Waltham Museum to view their D-Day exhibition was a great success. The display was very attractively done and included many fascinating memories from local people on this crucial period of the Second World War. There were also reproductions of a range of photographs, postcards, maps and other archives to help illustrate them. Having enjoyed the display I came away with the hours of oral history recordings collected as part of the project to be deposited in Wessex Film and Sound Archive. All have been transcribed and in time will be catalogued and made available to researchers in our searchroom. There was also a further deposit of sale particulars and plans connected to Austin and Wyatt, solicitors, estate agents and valuers of Bishops Waltham to be added to the Hampshire Archive and Local Studies collections (87A06).
This week I am visiting the Friends of St Marks churchyard in Gosport to discuss the organisation and potential future deposit of material. The group has been operating since 2003 to bring the once derelict churchyard back to life. In the process they have apparently uncovered large amounts of documents and information about St Marks and those who are buried there. They are keen to gather all this information together in electronic form possibly on a CD-Rom which hopefully we will get a copy of for deposit in the Record Office. I look forward to finding out more.
Coming up next week we have the latest of our Archive Ambassador training days. For those unfamiliar with these events, they include sessions on cataloguing archive collections, the conservation and preservation of archives, digital archives and oral history recording. By signing up you also receive a handbook which includes further information on more specialist areas such as copyright issues, the preservation of film and sound archive material and exhibitions.
Our hope is that by training up individuals from across the county in the best practices of archival care not only will this help with specific projects that the individual might be working on such as caring for a village, society or personal archive collection but they can also act as an ambassador in their local community passing on this knowledge to others, encouraging people to deposit records with Hampshire Record Office if appropriate and making sure that any records kept locally are looked after appropriately to ensure their long term preservation.
The events have proved very popular and next weeks training day has been booked up for some time but there is a further date on Wednesday 19 November, 10am-3.30pm.
To book a place contact us on 01962 846154. The charge is £18 per person.
Hampshire Record Office