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Community archives update, 1/4/2014

April 1, 2014

This week members of the Winchester U3A group again visited us at Hampshire Record Office in Winchester to continue their investigations into local First World War armistice celebrations, the Chesil Railway and Oram’s Arbour, the Iron age hill fort. Regular followers of the blog will remember this group of inexperienced archive users had visited us last month for an introduction to our services and collections. Previously slightly daunted by the prospect of using the searchroom I’m delighted to report that this time members of the group showed much more confidence and were each able to make good progress with their projects, independently accessing our computer catalogues, ordering up original archives from our strongrooms and browsing the library collections for useful books. To gauge the progress made I met with the group again at the end of their visit for a brief round-up session and the feedback was universally positive with all expressing greater confidence and vowing to return in the near future to delve further into our treasures. Remember if you are part of a community group which you feel may benefit from similar assistance in introducing new users to the Record Office feel free to contact me (mark.pitchforth@hants.gov.uk) to discuss it further.

Archive Ambassador training day

Archive Ambassador training day

The latest Archive Ambassador training day is just over a month away (7 May). It is fully booked but further 2014 sessions have been put in place for 9 July, 10 September and 19 November, 10am-3.30pm.

The programme for the training days includes:-
- Information on the conservation of archives, with simple but effective ways to help preserve collections
- An introduction to organising and cataloguing archive collections, with practical tips and advice
- How to create digital records and make collections available online
- Beginners guide to the collection of oral history recordings
To book your spot or for more information ring 01962 846154 or email enquiries.archives@hants.gov.uk.

Community archives update, 14/03/2014

March 14, 2014

Later this year we will see the centenary of the beginning of the First World War. Those interested in the history of the conflict may like to take a look at our Voices of the First World War Facebook page where we will be posting photographs and extracts from letters, diaries, logs and newspapers to help tell the story of the impact of the War through the eyes of local people. These unique archives held by Hampshire County Council’s Archives and Local Studies service in Winchester will allow you to hear the voices of those involved, experience the attitudes of the time, and join them in their real life dramas.

First Volunteer Battalion, Hampshire Regiment machine gun section, c1912 Hampshire Record Office, 104M85W/3

First Volunteer Battalion, Hampshire Regiment machine gun section, c1912
Hampshire Record Office, 104M85W/3

Information on the site so far includes images relating to the road to war, the recruitment of men for the Front and a diary kept by prisoners of war in France. Further material will be added in the lead-up to the anniversary of the beginning of the war and throughout the next few years including the centenary of the Armistice and post-war period. There is also the chance to post your own comments, for instance, on the documents featured, relevant events and activities you are engaged in or details of ancestors involved in the First World War.

Records-B285crop

Also to mark the centenary we are running a Voices of the First World War workshop designed to help you discover inspiring archive collections and to make creative use of them. The sessions are on Wednesday 26 March and Wednesday 30 April 2014 and cost £12 per person (booking essential). They will begin with a short performance of First World War voices inspired by original documents, followed by the chance to discuss and explore ideas about using sources in projects such as art, dance, drama, poetry or creative writing. For booking and further information visit http://www.hants.gov.uk/archives or telephone 01962 846154.

Community archives update, 5/3/2014

March 5, 2014

This week members of the Winchester U3A group visited us at Hampshire Record Office in Winchester. They had a particular interest in investigating local First World War armistice celebrations, the Chesil Railway and Oram’s Arbour, the Iron age hill fort. Although some of the group use the searchroom regularly, they also have less experienced members who although enthusiastic to use archives, felt slightly daunted by the prospect of visiting us for the first time. In a bid to ease these new users into the experience I agreed to meet the group on arrival and gave a short introduction to the archive and library catalogues and a tour of the searchroom. I was able to point out some of the most effective ways of accessing our collections, demonstrate how the searchroom works and where everything is and give the group ideas on how best to approach their chosen areas of interest as well as find topics for future research projects. Hopefully as a result when visiting Hampshire Record Office in the future, the group will be confident enough to make full use of our services, facilities and collections independently.
If you are part of a community group which you feel may benefit from similar assistance in introducing new users to the Record Office feel free to contact me (mark.pitchforth@hants.gov.uk) to discuss it further.

Crowds watching a military procession, including an early tank, pass the Guildhall, Winchester. Possibly connected with an early Armistice Day, c1918

Crowds watching a military procession, including an early tank, pass the Guildhall, Winchester. Possibly connected with an early Armistice Day, c1918
Hampshire Record Office, HPP5/3/67

There are a couple of recently scheduled events at the Record Office which you may be interested in. The first is a workshop on how to investigate the history of your house using archives and other resources from our collections, 10 April. The second An evening with the Hillier’s on 1 May is being staged in conjunction with Hampshire Gardens Trust and includes an exhibition of original garden-related archives and talks by Jean Hillier and Andrew McIndoe, Managing Director of Hillier Nurseries. It’s ideal for all lovers of gardens and history.

Mark Pitchforth, Archivist
Hampshire Record Office

Bill from Edwin Hillier & Sons, nurserymen of Winchester sent to Mrs Gunner of Holm Oak, Bishops Waltham Hampshire Record Office, 33A02W/7

Bill from Edwin Hillier & Sons, nurserymen of Winchester sent to Mrs Gunner of Holm Oak, Bishops Waltham
Hampshire Record Office, 33A02W/7

Community archives update, 20/02/2014

February 20, 2014

This week I attended the launch of a project by The Hampshire Gardens Trust Research Group (http://www.hgt.org.uk) to investigate the impact the First World War had on Hampshire’s parks and gardens. The event proved to be a great success with a lot of interest and enthusiasm from those in attendance. During the afternoon I was given the opportunity to share Hampshire Record Office’s plans for marking the First World War centenary and touch upon the wide range of sources amongst our collections which should prove invaluable when undertaking the research work. We also discussed a number of possible project themes such as gardeners from the big estates who left for the front (and the women who replaced them); the therapeutic role of gardens and gardening at the country houses used as hospitals and convalescence homes; the use of public parks for food production, temporary camps and the legacy of the designed landscapes around memorials, cemeteries and shrines. If anyone is interested in joining the project, please contact the Research Group chair, Sally Miller at admin@hgt.org.uk (please put ‘Research WW1’ in the subject box) or telephone 01794 637752 to leave a message.

In other news, a new exhibition Then and now has been put up this week at the Record Office and will be on display until 30 Apr 2014. It includes selections from the Hampshire Museums’ photographic collections from around the county, and the same views as they are today (presented by Hampshire Arts and Museums Service). Access is free, no booking required.

Mark Pitchforth, Archivist, Hampshire Record Office

Then and Now exhibition on display at Hampshire Record Office until 30 April 2014

Then and Now exhibition on display at Hampshire Record Office until 30 April 2014

Community archives update, 7/2/2014

February 7, 2014

On Wednesday we were delighted to welcome a group of volunteers from Whitchurch Silk Mill for a visit to Hampshire Record Office. These visits are a great chance to explain how the Record Office works, what material is available amongst our collections and a few background details on the activities we get up to. We had a tour of the reception and searchroom, a demonstration of our online catalogue, a short film from the collections of Wessex Film and Sound Archive and an exhibition of Whitchurch related documents. By far the most popular element of the evening though, as is often the case, was a selection of Whitchurch maps which we had produced to show the town at various points in history from 1730 through to the 20th century. Maps are such an accessible source and offer the chance to find out in a quick and easy way just how much an area or a particular property has changed over the years. The evening finished with a look at some of the work of our conservation department who can do extraordinary things repairing archives which have suffered damage as a result of poor storage, damp and pests. Particularly interesting was a Winchester Cathedral roll recently worked on as part of the conservation project. (http://www3.hants.gov.uk/archives/archives-news-2.htm) Everyone seemed to go home happy and hopefully we’ll see many of them again using the searchroom in the future.

Town and borough of Whitchurch made in 1730 by Thomas Lawrence, Hampshire Record Office, 55M95-1

Town and borough of Whitchurch made in 1730 by Thomas Lawrence
Hampshire Record Office, 55M95-1

Community archives update, 30/01/2014

January 30, 2014

The Archive Ambassador training day scheduled for 7 May 2014 is now fully booked. A further session has been put in place for Wednesday 9 July, 10am-3.30pm.
The programme for the training day includes:-
- Information on the conservation of archives, with simple but effective ways to help preserve collections. What are the main risks? How do we minimise these? What help is available?
- An introduction to organising and cataloguing archive collections, with practical tips and advice. What are archives ? How do we set up a collection?
- How to create digital records and make collections available online. How to get the best from your scans and the type of formats on which to save your material.
To book your spot or for more information ring 01962 846154 or email enquiries.archives@hants.gov.uk.

A group enjoy a session on preserving archives at an Archive Ambassador training day, 2012

A group enjoy a session on preserving archives at an Archive Ambassador training day, 2012

My visit to Bishop’s Waltham this week for the launch of their house history project was a great success. I was able to give an introduction to the variety of useful sources we hold amongst our collections for researching buildings. It was standing room only at the venue such was the enthusiasm from the local community for what I’m sure will be a successful and rewarding undertaking. We certainly hope many of the groups will be coming to Winchester to make use of the Hampshire Record Office searchroom in the coming weeks and look forward to seeing what they can uncover about the properties of Bishop’s Waltham.

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

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

Mark Pitchforth
Archivist
Hampshire Record Office

Community archives update, 20/01/2014

January 20, 2014

Next week I am visiting Bishop’s Waltham to help Bishop’s Waltham Museum and Bishop’s Waltham Society launch a joint project to conduct historical research into all the buildings in their village. Over 70 people are due to attend showing just how much enthusiasm there is for local history in the area. I will be taking them through some of the sources we have available for house history and passing on leaflets on our collections, facilities and services. I hope to see many of the volunteers in the searchroom in the coming months and look forward to watching the project take shape.

Section of ordnance survey map of Bishop's Waltham, 1870

Section of ordnance survey map of Bishop’s Waltham, 1870

Regular followers of the blog will know that over the last few months Hampshire Record Office has forged stronger links with Whitchurch Silk Mill where there is a small but interesting archive collection. The Mill has formed a group of volunteers to help sort, repackage and eventually catalogue the collection in detail. As a first step I visited Whitchurch last year and was able to assess the material, offer initial advice and discuss future plans. The group along with staff from the Mill are due to join us for a tour of the Record Office next month including an exhibition of original material relating to Whitchurch and three of the volunteers have signed up to attend the Archive Ambassador training day in May. There are still a few places left if anyone is interested in attending. Contact 01962 846154 or enquiries.archives@hants.gov.uk for more information or to reserve a spot.

Mark Pitchforth
Archivist
Hampshire Record Office
http://www.hants.gov.uk/archives

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