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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

Community archives update, 25/06/2014

June 25, 2014

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, on Saturday 12 July from 10am-3pm. I will be attending to give advice and answer questions about local and family history research and promote Hampshire Record Office. I’ll have an exhibition with me including examples of archives from our collections and leaflets on our services and facilities. The event will feature film material relating to Portsmouth from the collections of Wessex Film and Sound Archive. Hope to see you there.

Portsmouth coronation celebrations at the Guildhall Square, 1937

Portsmouth coronation celebrations at the Guildhall Square, 1937
Hampshire Record Office, HPP43/003

Also next month we have the return 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 the July training day has been booked up for some time but two further dates have been put in place for later in the year, 10 September and 19 November, both Wednesdays and 10am-3.30pm. The programme for each day is identical including the following sessions:-

Keeping paper clips at bay: Effective but simple ways to help preserve collections. What are the main risks? How do we prevent these? What help is available?

Cataloguing collections: What are ‘archives’? How do we set up a collection? Practical tips and advice on how to organise and catalogue your material.

Going Live: Creating digital records and making collections e-accessible, session includes practical tips on how to get the best from your ‘scans’ and what type of formats to save your material on.

Oral History Recording: A beginners guide to the collection of oral history recordings.

To book a place on either of these training days contact us on 01962 846154. The charge is £18 per person.

A group of prospective Archive Ambassadors receive training on archive conservation

A group of prospective Archive Ambassadors receive training on archive conservation

Community archives update, 13/6/2014

June 13, 2014

Since our last update the Record Office has been visited by a group from Bishop’s Waltham who are engaged in a project to research every building in the town. Eighteen local people arrived full of enthusiasm and I was able to show them how they can make use of Hampshire Record Office for their project, the process of signing in and getting a readers ticket, the layout of the searchroom, the services and facilities we have available and the varied and valuable collections we hold. We began with a tour of the building including areas not usually open to the public such as our archive conservation department. The evening finished with an exhibition of original documents relating to Bishop’s Waltham including maps, plans, rate books, sale particulars, photographs etc many of which were of great help to the research of those attending. Others served to demonstrate the sorts of records we can offer and hopefully encourage people to return to make use of our normal searchroom facilities soon. The majority of the group were visiting an archive for the first time and it was great to see their excitement as they realised the treasures that can be discovered.

CAHG LOGO

This week I attended the Community Archives and Heritage Group (CAHG) annual conference at University College London (UCL). It included an interesting and enjoyable range of speakers with the overall theme of Communication. The morning session began with keynote speaker Lisa Jardine, Professor for Renaissance Studies, UCL who spoke about her experiences accessing her father, Jacob Bronowski’s MI5 file. After this interesting start, the day continued with various talks highlighting a range of community archive projects from across the country including the Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey which involves visiting every church in the county and creating a web resource recording the medieval graffiti which exists, Distinctly Black Country which aims to link people who are interested in the way the past has made the modern Black Country landscape and the Birmingham Music Archive an online resource recording memories of the city’s musical heritage. There were also sessions on engaging young people through social media by Vanessa Weibel and members of the Youth Advisory Panel, Geffrye Museum and highlighting the newly revamped CAHG website which is well worth a look (http://www.communityarchives.org.uk/index.php) and includes further information about the group and how to join.

Mark Pitchforth
Archivist
Hampshire Record Office

Community archives update, 29/05/2014

May 29, 2014

Next week sees an evening visit to Hampshire Record Office by a group of people from Bishop’s Waltham. Regular followers of the blog may recall that earlier in the year I attended the launch of a project organised by Bishop’s Waltham Museum and Bishop’s Waltham Society. The idea was to encourage local residents to conduct historical research into all the buildings in their village. The launch was a great success with over 70 people attending. On the night I was able to give a brief introduction to the variety of useful sources we hold amongst our collections for researching buildings. Having had their appetites whetted a smaller group of potential researchers are now ready to gain more hands on experience. The perfect time to make a visit to Hampshire Record Office to see first hand how everything works, get a feel for the layout of the building and get up close and personal with some original material including maps, plans, sale particulars, photographs, directories 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.

Bishop's Waltham, c1900 Hampshire Record Office, 120M94W/E9

Bishop’s Waltham, c1900
Hampshire Record Office, 120M94W/E9

Also coming up on the 12 June is the 2014 Community Archives and Heritage Group Conference. I have attended the Conference for a number of years and it has always proved to be a great opportunity to network with representatives of community groups from across the country as well as colleagues from archives and other parts of the heritage sector. You get to hear about all the fascinating and inspiring projects that are going on and the chance to share and discuss ideas for the future. The theme this year is communication and the day will include the presentation of the Community Archive & Heritage Awards 2014. Hopefully we’ll see a local winner as we did last year when the prize for Inspiration went to Ryde Social Heritage Group, Isle of Wight, a group we worked closely with as part of the Living Links community archives project.

Mark Pitchforth, Archivist
Hampshire Record Office

Community archives update, 22/5/2014

May 22, 2014

Last week I attended a special event to mark the end of the successful ‘On The Street Where We Live’ project at Making Space, Leigh Park. Regular followers of the blog will recall that Hampshire Record Office has been involved with this project from the very beginning so it was fantastic to see just what had been achieved since 2011 including reminiscence sharing, memory roadshows, memory boxes, oral history films and the creation of a community map (below) by artist Rachel Reynolds working with Leigh Park people. An exhibition to mark the end of this rewarding project will be on show at Making Space until Saturday 24 May. Access is free and open to all.
For more information about the project, exhibition and to access images, film clips and other related features go to http://www.makingspace.org/outreach/on-the-street-where-i-live-2

Mark Pitchforth, Archivist
Hampshire Record Office

The On The Street Where We Live Community map created by artist Rachel Reynolds working with Leigh Park people

The Leigh Park community map created by Rachel Reynolds

From Saturday 17th to Saturday 24th May Making Space will be hosting an exhibition to mark the end of this rewarding project

The exhibition to mark the end of ‘On The Street Where We Live’, on show at Making Space until Sat 24 May

 

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