£10k to preserve history of a town
Records to be digitised
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.”