£10k to pre­serve his­tory of a town

Records to be digi­tised

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION - By Jo-Anne Rowney jo-anne.rowney@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A TOWN’S his­tory will be pre­served for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions thanks to a £10,000 grant.

The Bea­cons­field and Dis­trict His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety (BDHS) has re­ceived the Her­itage Lot­tery Fund (HLF) grant to put to­wards train­ing vol­un­teers to con­serve, digi­tise and cat­a­logue its ex­ten­sive ar­chive.

The so­ci­ety has en­cour­aged the study of his­tory in the town and col­lects and pub­lishes ma­te­rial re­lat­ing to its his­tory for more than 50 years.

The Ad­ver­tiser spoke to the group’s for­mer chair­man John Stan­bury, be­fore his death in Au­gust, about his dream of hav­ing the ar­chives scanned so ev­ery­one could ac­cess the wealth of in­for­ma­tion col­lected.

He had met with staff from the li­brary, in Reynolds Road, and from the county mu­seum, to dis­cuss the project as well as the pos­si­bil­ity of us­ing the li­brary as a base.

The topic is an on­go­ing is­sue for the town, which does not have a mu­seum.

Records are stored in mem­ber’s homes as well as at the town hall, in Penn Road. The Bea­cons­field Ar­chive Project will train lo­cal vol­un­teers, with the help of a pro­fes­sional ar­chiv­ist, to cat­a­logue and pre­serve the ex­ten­sive ar­chive which con­sists of photographs, maps, doc­u­ments and char­ters.

The cat­a­logue will then be made avail­able on­line as a teach­ing and re­search re­source for schools, study and projects.

A se­ries of leaflets will set out the ar­chive con­tent, as well as fu­ture dates of exhibitions and planned monthly open days.

Mem­ber of Bea­cons­field ar­chive com­mit­tee, Michael Grace, said: “We are de­lighted that we have been awarded this grant and we can’t wait to get started on our project. Our ar­chive, at present, is not ac­ces­si­ble to the pub­lic and we are keen to share it with the wider com­mu­nity so that it can be used and ap­pre­ci­ated by all.

“This will mean that the rich his­tory of our beau­ti­ful his­toric mar­ket town will not be lost to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.”

Head of Her­itage Lot­tery Fund, South East Eng­land, Stu­art McLeod, said: “This project presents a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for the com­mu­nity to delve into their lo­cal her­itage.

“We are de­lighted to be able to of­fer this grant so that The Bea­cons­field Ar­chive Project team can em­bark on a real jour­ney of dis­cov­ery.”

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