Keeping busy behind the scenes

Here at Gloucestershire Archives we’re involved in lots of activities to gather, keep and share the documented heritage of Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire.  We’re also leading joint activities to make sure this keeps on happening, like the £2.6M For the Record project we’re currently developing.

While some of our work is plain to see there’s a lot that goes on in the background, especially when it comes to dealing with collections.  So we thought it’d be good to share more about what we’ve been up to.  With this in mind a few folk from our Collections team spoke with Pete Wilson of Radio Gloucestershire.  The interviews were broadcast throughout his shows on 18th and 25th January and you can listen to them via the links below.  They’ll be available until 15th and 22nd February respectively.  Amongst other things, the team mention the key role of volunteers and partner organisations.  They highlight this in the round-up at the end of the second programme.

I hope you find their enthusiasm inspiring.   I certainly did!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02ghtjm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02gws2m

Annual stocktaking week

During 16-19 December 2014, we held our annual stocktaking week. This is when we provide a limited service in the searchroom to free up as many staff as possible to work in the strongrooms. We use the time to improve the storage of the collections we have, and to assess and identify material we don’t need to keep permanently.

We would like to thank all our customers for their understanding while our service was restricted to enable us to get on with all of this! Continue reading

“Let nothing perish” – the Charles Wade archive

Thanks to the patient work of volunteers, the fascinating archive of Charles Paget Wade has now been fully catalogued. Charles Paget Wade purchased Snowshill Manor near Broadway in 1919 to display his growing collection of objects, chosen to demonstrate what he regarded as the “essentials of design, colour and craftsmanship”. By the time of his death in 1956, Wade had acquired more than 20,000 objects, ranging from an ancient Egyptian alabaster pot to different types of clocks, ornate inlaid cabinets to wagons, Samurai armour to early velocipedes – as well as 2,250 pieces of 18th and 19th century clothing and much more besides. He could afford all of this because of the plantations and other businesses he had inherited in the West Indies, especially the island of St. Kitts. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Solicitors – the records of Messrs Sewell, Mullings and Logie (D1388)

I’m Jane Heward, and I am the new Cirencester Project Archivist at Gloucestershire Archives. I have recently finished a 21-month project at Cambridgeshire Archives cataloguing the records of the Bedford Level Corporation (the organisation who drained the Fens between the 1630s and 1650s, and maintained many of the drainage works until the 1920s). Before that, I was an archives trainee at Glasgow University Archives in 2010-2011 and completed the UCL Archives and Records Management course in 2011-2012.

Picture of the former offices of Messrs Mullings, Ellet and Co, of Cirencester

The former offices of Messrs Mullings, Ellett and Co at No. 12 Park Street, Cirencester

In November 2013, Gloucestershire Archives was successful in its bid to the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for funding to catalogue the records of Cirencester solicitors Messrs Sewell, Mullings and Logie, formed from the merger of the practices of Messrs Mullings, Ellett and Co and Messrs Sewell, Rawlins and Logie in 1991. The records are extensive – 632 boxes were included in the project brief, and a further two collections (D181 and D182) contain related material. At present, only 43% of the collection is “box-listed” (meaning that only a summary of the contents of each box is recorded), and just 18% is available through either the paper catalogues in the Searchroom or the online catalogue.

Continue reading

The papers of Gloucestershire Area Ramblers’ Association collected by Antony (“Tony”) John Drake MBE (1923-2012)

In 2011-2012 I was an archive trainee at Gloucestershire Archives before heading to Liverpool University to qualify as an archivist. I then completed my first professional contract as a project archivist at Hull History Centre before returning to Gloucester in January 2014 as a project archivist. My post, which is externally funded, Continue reading

Robert Welch Designs: Archive and Collections Project

Who was Robert Welch and why Gloucestershire?

Robert Radford Welch (1929 -2000) was a silversmith, industrial and domestic designer who was born in Hereford and grew up in Malvern. After studying in Birmingham and London, he set up a studio and workshop at the Old Silk Mill, Chipping Campden in 1955. This building was formerly the workshops of C. R. Ashbee’s (1863-1942) Guild of Handicraft, from 1902, and still houses the workshop of one of the Guild silversmiths, George Hart. Continue reading