Explore Your Archive: Inspirational archives

Because archives are frequently top-heavy with records created by officialdom, it’s easy to lose sight of the amazing things that can be found.

Image of 16th century music manuscript

Illuminated notation, used as cover of manor court book [D4289/M1]

Taking music as one example, we have a hugely diverse range of records.  One interesting piece is an illuminated fragment of medieval religious music from the 1400s that was re-used as the cover of a manorial court book in the 1500s.  The score is a gradual (a chant or hymn in the liturgical celebration of the Christian Eucharist) sung from the 6th to the 10th Sunday after Trinity.

Image of police officer playing a tuba

Gloucestershire Constabulary officer [D10638/2/16/47].






At the other end of the scale – no musical pun intended – there’s a picture of a Gloucestershire Constabulary Officer playing a tuba.  The officer in question had just joined the Police Symphony Orchestra and the photograph was featured in Gloucester’s local evening newspaper.

However old or new the material, music remains a wonderful way of inspiring people.

When we worked with disabled and non-disabled young people who wanted to find out about the history of their area in Gloucester we didn’t know what the result would be. Exploring our archives as part of the Barton & Tredworth Community Heritage Project, they were fascinated by the Siege of Gloucester in the English Civil War.  You can watch their fantastic music video on the group’s own website: www.eastgate-bartonst.com.


“For the Record” is our collaborative approach to gathering, keeping and sharing the documented heritage of local communities in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire. You can find out more about the project by visiting www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/archives/fortherecord.

Most of the project costs are being covered by grants and contributions from project partners, but we are seeking donations too. Please donate online at www.foga.org.uk or in person at Gloucestershire Archives.

Funders and partners

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