Artists for Gloucestershire Archives
This week we’ve been celebrating the national #ExploreArchives campaign, so it seemed appropriate to demonstrate just how many ways there are of exploring the collections.
If you have visited the Archives’ garden lately you will have noticed that there is a very large oak tree trunk lying on the ground. This is the raw material for our new vertical sculpture to be carved by Cheltenham based sculptor Natasha Houseago. The tree trunk is two and a half metres long and has a diameter of about half a metre. Or if you still hanker for the olden days, 15 feet long and about 20 inches across.
Hurrah! Works to create the Heritage Hub (new facilities and premises) at our Alvin Street premises in Gloucester are now underway, ably led by Paul Lander, the Site Manager employed by our builder, Lakehouse, to oversee things.
Left to right: Heather Forbes, Head of Archives; Paul Lander, Site Manager; Cllr Ray Theodoulou, Gloucestershire County Council; John Herring, Dowty Archive Project; David Poole, Gloucestershire Family History Society (GFHS); Ann Attwood, Hannah Dale, Karen Davidson and Helen Bartlett, Gloucestershire Archives (GA); David Howells, GFHS; and Jill Shonk, GA.
Paul and his team have until the end of this year to complete the planned works, which will be done in two phases. And, all being well, we should have the new Archives research room and Gloucestershire Family History Centre Facilities up and running by the summer. Meanwhile, we’re doing our best to offer a service that’s pretty much ‘business as usual’ for everyone that wants to use the documents in our collections. So we’re running a temporary research room in the Frith Centre, which is next to our main building – it’s a bit smaller than we’re used to but we can assure you of the same warm welcome!
January 2017 heralds new arrangements for safeguarding and sharing historic Gloucestershire’s archives – the emergence of Gloucestershire Heritage Hub, which we’re developing as part of our ‘For the Record‘ project: gloucestershire.gov.uk/archives/fortherecord
So, what exactly is Gloucestershire Heritage Hub? Well, it’s a growing network of people with a common interest in the documented history of Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire. During the course of this year the Hub’s founding members (key project stakeholders) will be setting up arrangements to connect such likeminded folks and help them to gather, keep and share the documented history of Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire – records that already exist and those that will be created over time. Amongst other things, we’re going to create a virtual Heritage Hub (website and social networking) and an onsite Heritage Hub (new facilities and services at our Alvin Street premises in Gloucester).
‘3D cutaway’ illustration of the new Heritage Hub (reproduced courtesy of Roberts Limbrick Architects)
So everyone will be able to get involved in ways that work best for them, either individually or as members of local interest groups, working at the onsite Hub or in homes and communities. All very exciting!
If you’d like updates about the ‘For the Record’ project or are interested in joining our growing Heritage Hub community you can subscribe to the new Gloucestershire Heritage Hub e-newsletter. You can find the first edition at http://glos-heritage-hub.tfemagazine.co.uk/heritage-hub-winter-2016
The Open Day at police headquarters is always a great opportunity to showcase Gloucestershire’s amazing police heritage. This year’s event, on Saturday 17 September, was the best one yet with over five and a half thousand visitors coming through the gates.
The Police Archive Group, Gloucestershire Archives and Gloucestershire Family History Society were all brought together in the “history zone”, with complementary displays and expertise. Everyone was kept very busy with people finding out what will be on offer in the new Heritage Hub as well as seeing what’s available in the police archives. There were lots of enquiries about police ancestors and the team of police volunteers will be following up many of over the coming weeks.
We made sure to take along the register of rural Constabulary- a star item from the official police archives. It’s packed with information about the earliest recruits to the new Force in 1839, and the neat copper plate handwriting is a source of wonder to children of the digital age.
And there’s still interesting material at large in the community – we had promises of photographs and memories from ex officers and from people who had suitcases, belonging to ex members of the constabulary, in their attics. There were also some tentative enquiries from people not connected to the police who were interested in joining the archive group. It was also great to hear that many people were already aware of the police archive website that went live just a couple of weeks ago.
All in all, a very productive day.
Co-authored by Sue Webb, police archive officer, and Kate Maisey, Gloucestershire Archive development officer.
Police archive website – www.gloucestershirepolicearchives.org.uk
This week we’ve had specialist site investigators on site, making trial pits and bore holes around the main Archives building. Thankfully, most of the work was outdoors. But we couldn’t avoid the hole in the visitor coffee lounge – sorry! Continue reading
At the end of April Gloucestershire Constabulary appointed Sue Webb as their project assistant. Sue brings a wealth of useful experience to the project from her background as a former police constable and head teacher. Continue reading
The ‘For the Record’ Stakeholders Advisory Board has made good headway with plans to develop a virtual Heritage Hub. Continue reading