Cotswold Roundabout goes Digital, by Natasha Young

I was appointed as a Gloucestershire Archives trainee in January 2021 under the National Archives “Bridging the Digital Gap” scheme.  My post has an emphasis on digital and technical skills and one of my tasks has focussed on the Cotswold Roundabout collection (D6112).  This wonderful sound archive consists of programmes compiled and edited by the Cotswold Tape Recording Society from around 1960 to 1976.  Originally called Hospital Roundabout, the programmes were designed to provide comfort and entertainment to hospital patients. The scope then widened to reach the elderly, the blind and the disabled, through clubs, homes and societies. .Despite being an amateur endeavour, the recordings were made in a professional manner and the quality of the audio is high.  The content is extremely varied, showcasing the talents of local people and “characters”, from singing and stand up comedy to telling spooky tales.  It also includes people’s reminiscences and unvarnished interviews about local trends. 

Original Cotswold Roundabout reel-to-reel tapes
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Blogging a Building (23) – the end of an era, by Heather Forbes

On 7th December 2020 we signed the completion certificate for Gloucestershire Heritage Hub.  This signified the end of the snagging period following the handover of the completed building and site in August 2019.  It therefore seemed appropriate to bring to an end this series of Blogging a Building, started by Jill Shonk back in February 2017. You can read the whole series here by searching for Blogging a Building, and see a pictorial record of how the building project developed from January 2017 to December 2020. We accidently missed out number 18, ambitiously jumping from 17 to 19! 

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How to preserve your family or community archive: the Collection Care Covid-19 lockdown blogs. Blog CC #18

 

  • Do you have a personal, organisational, local or subject related archive?
  • Have you been following our training blogs?

 Since April 2020, we’ve posted over 20 blogs to help you care for, manage and develop your collection. We hope you’ve found them helpful.  Here’s a quick re-cap of what we’ve covered:

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How to preserve your family or community archive: the Collection Care Covid-19 lockdown blogs. Blog CC #16

  • Thinking about making copies of items/collections?
  • Keen to save time and avoid damaging originals?
  • Want to know how best to prepare?

Making copies of fragile or popular items reduces handling and the risk of physical damage, the number one cause of deterioration in archives (see blog CC#4 on causes of damage to archives.)

It’s good to keep an eye on how often items are used so you can see which ones are most at risk of damage.  Keeping a note with your catalogue or list is a great way to do it – even a simple ‘five bar gate’ tally will do.

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How to preserve your family or community archive: the Collection Care Covid-19 lockdown blogs. Blog CC #13

  • Want to be prepared in case things go wrong?
  • Like to be able to sort out problems fast?

“I have never been in an accident of any sort and have never been wrecked, nor was I ever in any predicament that threatened to end in disaster of any sort”  E J Smith (SS Titanic)

It can happen to anyone! The best thing we can do is be prepared just in case!

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How to preserve your family or community archive: the Collection Care Covid-19 lockdown blogs. Blog CC #12

  • Want to avoid uninvited guests eating your collection!?
  • Keen to make sure the surrounding environment is safe for archives?

Let me introduce you to our silverfish, a Grey Silverfish (ctenolepisma longicaudata).  They are fairly new to the UK, and this is the first one we have found.  We will be keeping the traps out and our eyes peeled just in case he has brought friends and relatives!  They are more tolerant of dry conditions than regular silverfish.

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How to preserve your family or community archive: the Covid-19 lockdown blogs. Blog CM #5

  • Need to list your archive collections?
  • Want to learn more about cataloguing archives?

The documentation you create when you take in (“accession”) new material should include a brief description of each batch of material you’ve received (see blog CM #2).  But you will probably also want to list in more detail (or “catalogue”) the material in your personal or community archive.  As well as being very useful for you, catalogues can be shared, for example via a website, so that other people can see what material you have.

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