A rchivist ’s top tips
BEST WEBSITES TO AID YOUR RESEARCH
County Archiv is t Ruth I m e so n: “There are strong local studies collections, such as newspapers and photographs, throughout the county’s library network, including Mansfield, Worksop, Nottingham and Newark. The main places for other significant collections are the Manuscripts and Special Collections Dept at the University of Nottingham and the record offices for neighbouring counties.” textiles and mining. “William Lee, who invented the stocking frame in 1589, was from Nottinghamshire. By the late 18th century, 90 per cent of the country’s stocking frames were in the East Midlands. The industry was a domestic business – typically frames were used in the family home.
“Together with Nottingham’s thriving lace industry, framework knitters are well represented in the archives here. You can also come and see our lace sample books and templates.” Nottingham’s own city archives take the story of lace further with the plans of the restoration and redevelopment of the Lace Market, which today is a vibrant independent quarter.
This year sees the end of an era with the closure of the county’s last deep coal mine at Thoresby Colliery. The pit Findmypast has a good selection of material, thanks to its partnership with Nottinghamshire FHS ( findmypast.co.uk/content/ffhsnottinghamshire). This includes Nottinghamshire marriages (1529-1929), plus more than 850,000 baptism records (1538-1980) and burials (1539-1905).
It’s also worth visiting the society's website ( nottsfhs.org.uk), if only to explore what other material has already been transcribed, indexed and published. The Projects page details current ventures, which include the scanning and indexing of Borstal After Care Records ( notts fhs.org.uk/index.php/borstal-after- carerecords). These come from the archives of the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham and contain information such as name, age, sentence, home address and trade.
The Nottinghamshire Heritage Gateway ( nottsheritagegateway.org.uk) is designed as a “guide to the heritage resources of the county, and a history of Nottinghamshire featuring the latest research”. You can explore material by places, people, themes and events. There’s a brief overview of each subject before lists of key resources for further research. Recent additions include sections on the Polish community, the Miners’ Strike and DH Lawrence. It is developed by the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire ( thorotonsociety.org.uk).
There’s also Our Nottinghamshire ( ournotting hamshire.org.uk), from the Nottinghamshire Loves Learning Partnership (itself made up of Nottinghamshire and Nottingham libraries and archives services). It includes lots of fascinating material relating to the impact of the First World War on the county at ournottinghamshire. org.uk/category/ first_world_war_ in_ nottinghamshire.
The FamilySearch wiki is another good starting point ( familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/ Nottinghamshire_Genealogy), although the links to other useful websites/ sources are pretty sparse at the moment. And, as mentioned above, the main website of Nottinghamshire Archives ( nottinghamshire.gov.uk/archives) has lots of useful content, but is due for redevelopment during the next year. Following grants from the Wellcome Trust,rust, the online catalogue now includes records of Rampton Secure Hospital.
The Thoroton Society develops many resources