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Community archives update, 26/06/2015

June 26, 2015

Next month we will receive a further visit from members of the Discovering Lepe’s Cold War History project. Regular followers of the blog will recall that their aim is to uncover the history of the Stone Point Nuclear Monitoring Post, a fascinating remnant of the Cold War that lies hidden from view at Lepe Country Park. Part of this work will involve conducting oral history interviews with local people recording their memories of the site and the period of history. We hope that the results of the project will eventually be deposited with Wessex Film and Sound Archive. To support this element of the project Hampshire Record Office is providing a training session on the best way to record oral histories and demonstrating some of the equipment that can be used.
Places still remain on the next Archive Ambassador training day, here at Hampshire Record Office on Wednesday 26 August 2015, 10am-3.30pm. We have been running these sessions for several years and they have proved to be very popular and useful to those with specific projects such as caring for village, society or personal archive collections. During the day you will receive tuition on archive preservation by Tim Edwards, Head of Conservation, cataloguing by one of our archivists, digital records by Heather Needham, Principal Archivist (ICT and E-Services) and oral history recording by archivists David Rymill and Mark Pitchforth. The day offers an excellent grounding in the best practices of archival care and a chance to network with others that share your passion for preserving Hampshire’s heritage. To book a place ring 01962 846154. More info

Community archives update, 17/06/2015

June 17, 2015

This week I had a very productive meeting with Ian Loynes, the CEO of SPECTRUM Centre for Independent Living in Southampton, an organisation run by and for disabled people across Hampshire to promote the meaningful inclusion of disabled people into the community. Last year they celebrated their 30th anniversary which has led to them considering the history of the organisation and the importance of preserving that history. Ian has written a history of SPECTRUM tracing the development of the organisation in 1984 up to the present day. The book also discusses the historical and cultural context, drawing parallels with other civil rights movements.
SPECTRUM hold a large quantity of records dating back to their formation and the ambition is to engage a project team of volunteers to list this collection in more detail with a long term aim to make it accessible to researchers. We hope that they may be able to join us for an Archive Ambassador training day in the near future and perhaps even a behind the scenes tour. There is massive potential for related activities such as oral history recording projects, the creation of an exhibition and further publications telling the story of SPECTRUM but it is still very early days. It’s great that Hampshire Record Office is involved to offer appropriate advice and guidance as the project takes shape and we look forward to seeing how things progress.

Mark Pitchforth, archivist
Hampshire Record Office

Community archives update, 12/06/2015

June 12, 2015

Magna Carta and Hampshire exhib 1Magna Carta and Hampshire exhib

The Magna Carta and Hampshire exhibition proved very popular at the Dudley Keep Memorial Lecture in the Great Hall earlier this week and has now taken up residence in the foyer of Hampshire Record Office, Hampshire County Council’s Archive and Local Studies service. Access is free so do pop in and take a look. It was produced jointly by Hampshire Record Office and The Odiham Society and excitingly includes a copy of the vernacular French translation of the Charter of Liberties (Magna Carta) produced on parchment with quill and oak gall ink and bound in vellum. The display also highlights many of the archives from the period held by Hampshire Record Office including King John’s charter to the men of Andover dated 1205. The lecture proved a great success and followed the unveiling of two Magna Carta memorial plaques earlier in the day at Odiham Castle by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson Esq and outside the Great Hall, Winchester by the Chairman of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Jonathan Glen. The designs for the plaques were the result of a competition run by Hampshire County Council and open to secondary schools and sixth form colleges across Hampshire.

Magna Carta and Hampshire exhibition 2Magna Carta and Hampshire 3

Community archives update, 3/6/2015

June 3, 2015

Magna Carta Great Hall 004Magna Carta Great Hall 008
The Magna Carta and Hampshire exhibition produced as part of the 800th anniversary celebrations by Hampshire Record Office, home of Hampshire County Council’s Archives and Local Studies and The Odiham Society was on show yesterday at the special citizenship ceremony in The Great Hall, Winchester organised by the Registration Service. The exhibition will be on display again in the Great Hall next week for the Dudley Keep Memorial Lecture and then accessible to all, free of charge in the Record Office foyer from 11 June to 30 September 2015. More info:
Magna Carta Great Hall 002Magna Carta Great Hall 010

Community archives update, 29/05/2015

May 29, 2015

From 11 June Hampshire Record Office will feature a new exhibition to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta (Latin for great charter) which was agreed at Runnymede, Surrey on 15 June 1215. This famous document was a list of written pledges, from King John to the barons, which aimed to limit the powers of the monarch by law and safeguard personal liberties. It promised the protection of church rights, protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice and limitations on feudal payments to the Crown. Magna Carta remains famous worldwide, having played a key role in the development of liberty and human rights, influencing constitutional documents drawn up over ensuing centuries such as the United States Bill of Rights.
Hampshire has a number of connections with Magna Carta and it is primarily this local angle which the display highlights including the significance of locations such as Winchester and Odiham as well as individuals like Peter de Roches, Bishop of Winchester. The exhibition has been produced in conjunction with The Odiham Society. For more information on their events and activities go to their website at
Odiham Library is currently home to the Odiham Embroidery, commissioned by the Odiham Society, which was officially unveiled by the High Sherriff of Hampshire, Lady Louisa Portal. The framed Embroidery is 7ft by 5ft and weighs 40 kilos. It took more than 50 volunteers two years to complete and some of the work has incorporated crawl stitch, as used in the Bayeux Tapestry.
Hampshire County Council’s Magna Carta anniversary celebrations also include the Dudley Keep Memorial Lecture, provided by Dr Nicholas Karn from the University of Southampton on Wednesday 10 June in the Great Hall, Winchester and the unveiling of two memorial plaques at Odiham Castle and the Great Hall, Winchester. The designs for the plaques were the result of a competition open to secondary schools and sixth form colleges from across Hampshire.

Community archives update, 16/04/2015

April 16, 2015

Tomorrow we are hosting the second visit from volunteers connected to the Discovering Lepe’s Cold War History project. Regular blog followers may recall that the aim of this project is to uncover the history of the Stone Point Nuclear Monitoring Post, a fascinating remnant of the Cold War that lies hidden from view at Lepe Country Park. They intend to use archives and oral history interviews to research the local area and uncover social history stories from the Cold War period. In order to aid this we agreed to provide introductions to Hampshire Record Office as many had never visited an archive before. The first visit took place in February with a talk on the work of Hampshire Record Office and the services and collections we can offer, a tour of the public areas particularly the searchroom and a small display of some of the Cold War themed records we hold. The second visit from a further group of volunteers will run along similar lines and hopefully will encourage and inpire them to visit the searchroom to begin their research in the near future.

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

Next week sees the latest of our Archive Ambassador training days which long term followers of the blog will recall include sessions on cataloguing archive collections, the conservation and preservation of archives, digital archives and oral history recording. We are delighted that interest in these events remains high and in fact next weeks training day has been booked up for some time but we have now scheduled two further dates for Wednesday 26 August and Wednesday 11 November 2015. If you’re interested in getting involved it’s worth booking your place sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment.

Mark Pitchforth, archivist
Hampshire Record Office

Community archives update, 01/04/2015

April 1, 2015

Archive material from Hampshire school collections which Hampshire Record Office made available to the FindMyPast School Registers digitisation project is now available online. The project has created an amazing amalgamation of school admission registers and log books from across the country giving details of pupils from over 1500 schools. It is fully searchable and you can find information such as; the name and type of school, name of pupils, address of pupils, and the names of parents and guardians. Go to for more information including a chance to browse details of all the Hampshire registers included in the database.

Hampshire Record Office is looking to build up an archive of General Election leaflets and flyers from as many local parties/candidates in as many Hampshire constituencies as possible so we would be delighted to receive any you receive through your letter boxes. Please send them to Hampshire Record Office, Sussex Street, Winchester, SO23 8TH or drop them off in our reception area. Unfortunately we can’t take material relating to Southampton, Portsmouth or the Isle of Wight or any none Hampshire locations but you may like to contact the relevant Record Offices for these areas to see if they are running a similar scheme.

Bronzes for the world: the Morris Singer Foundry: free exhibition on display at Hampshire Record Office until June

Bronzes for the world: the Morris Singer Foundry: free exhibition on display at Hampshire Record Office until June

A new exhibition (produced by the Friends of the Willis Museum and the Basingstoke Archaeological and Historical Society) Bronzes for the world: the Morris Singer Foundry has just gone on display in our foyer. The Morris Singer Foundry has cast bronzes for many of the world’s leading sculptors including Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Elisabeth Frink. It was located in Basingstoke from 1967 to 1999 and is now operating at Lasham. Access to the exhibition is free and available Mon-Wed, Fri, 9am-5pm, Thu, 9am-7pm and every 1st and 3rd Sat in the month, 9am-4pm.
Morris Singer exhib3

Don’t forget the latest Bordon Reflections drop-in event taking place at The Phoenix Theatre and Arts Centre this weekend (Saturday 4 April) Regular followers of the blog will recall this project provides a chance for members of the public to share stories and memories about the history of Bordon as well as any interesting documents and artefacts they may have relating to the town. As before there will be on display copies of historic maps, plans and photographs from our collections relating to Bordon as well as leaflets on our services, facilities and collections.

The Archive Ambassador training day scheduled for Wednesday 22 April is now fully booked. Dates for further repeat sessions will be available soon so keep an eye on our events what’s on guide at Alternatively to receive our monthly e-newsletter, which provides regular updates about events, activities and archive news, go to – then enter your details and select ‘Archives’ from the pick-list.

Mark Pitchforth, archivist
Hampshire Record Office


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