In our last post we shared news about the next stage of “For the Record” and the creation of Gloucestershire Heritage Hub. We also explained the development work will bring changes to Gloucestershire Archives’ services and facilities.
While the physical changes to the Alvin Street site are certainly significant, they’re not our only focus. Alongside the building work, we’re also launching our extensive programme of activities that offer learning, participation, training and volunteering opportunities.
The activities, like the changes to the Archives’ site, will happen in two phases. Some activities begin immediately and will run all the way to 2020. Others run for shorter periods of time, either before or after the Hub opens.
There will be lots of ways to get involved.
If you’d like to look after your own archives, or help others to do so:
We’re putting together a training programme which will support people in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire to gather, keep and share their personal and community archives. We’ll also be looking specifically at the challenges of looking after digital records, and running regular taster sessions for people using the new on-site Heritage Hub.
We’ll be training volunteers to pass on these new skills to groups and communities across the region. Some volunteers will also be providing support to users in the Hub.
If you’d like to learn about people’s lives in Gloucestershire, or about the work they used to do:
“For the Record” includes two large projects – the Gloucestershire Police Archive Project, in partnership with Gloucestershire Constabulary and The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, and the Dowty Heritage Project in partnership with volunteers from the local engineering firm.
Both projects are about making records more accessible, as well as collecting new material. Volunteers are already collecting memories and stories from retired staff of both organisations. They’ll be sharing these stories, and other material once the collections have been catalogued, in events and exhibitions and online.
If you’d like to learn online, or identify material about the historic county from home:
The Gloucestershire Heritage Hub community website will act as an online portal to information and advice about accessing, gathering, keeping and sharing archives in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire. You’ll be able to able to get online versions of volunteer training activities and take part in social networking through the virtual Heritage Hub.
We’re also making it easier to find archives, by creating a single unified catalogue. This catalogue will bring together information about material from across Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire, including collections from Gloucester Cathedral, the Constabulary collection and archives retained by community groups.
If you’d like to see how the new Hub is taking shape and help us develop the site:
We know many of you will be interested to see how the building work is progressing, so we’ll be running a few ‘Hard Hat tours’ to show groups around the site. We’ll also be writing pieces for our blog, to share updates with those of you who can’t make it Gloucester and see for yourselves.
We’ll be working with a visual artist and a group of local care home residents to develop the displays and art installations for the new site. These will be inspired by Archive collections and showcase images that are important to people with early stage dementia.
We’ll also be working with young families to develop the site. Our Where I Live strand will involve activities with pre-school children and their parents/carers from Kingsholm. Using documents from the Archives’ collections we’ll produce a play mat that will help everyone discover the history of the Hub’s new home. We’ll also be working with local families to plant up the garden between the main Hub building and the new training suite.
If you’d like to help us use archives to support activities for children in care and older people:
We all know how important archives are for helping us find out where we came from and who we are. As part of “For the Record” we’re working with colleagues from Gloucestershire County Council and the NHS on a project called Everyone Valuing Older folKs Experiences (EVOKE). We’ll be developing, delivering and training people in archives-linked reminiscence work that we will run at monthly older people’s clubs in libraries.
We’re also pleased to be working with Gloucestershire’s Virtual Learning Team and the Children and Youth Panel to develop events and activities for children in care aged 7 – 9. These will become part of the Virtual Learning Team’s ‘out of school hours’ activity set.
If you’d like to celebrate with us:
We’ll be holding events to mark the formal opening of Gloucestershire Heritage Hub, of course. And during 2016 we’ll be hosting two anniversary events: to mark the 90th anniversary of the Archives’ current home, and the 80th anniversary of the Archives service itself.
We hope you’ll enjoy being part of these activities as much as we’re looking forward to seeing them come to life!
If you’d like to express your interest in any of the activities mentioned above please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can keep up with news relating to changes and opportunities at Alvin Street at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/archives/news (and please do remember to check this before you visit!) You can also find out more about “For the Record” at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/archives/fortherecord.