A rchivist ’s top tips


Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - AROUND BRITAIN -

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

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