opened in 1925 and over the years has employed hundreds of thousands of local people, and was one of 46 coal mines in Nottinghamshire in the early 1960s. Ruth says: “Related mining collections are substantial, ranging from colliery ledgers so large it takes two people to carry them, to This month there are four complete products together worth £49. These include a collection of transcribed 17th-century registers from 24 parishes, the Nottingham Date Book, a late Victorian directory covering both Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire (worth £17) and Abstracts of Nottinghamshire Marriages. This source was published in 1935 and contains abstracts of marriage licences at the Archdeacon’s Court (1701-1753) and abstracts of Marriage Bonds and Allegations at Southwell (1755-1853). housing schemes at Blidworth and Cotgrave collieries, to the payslips of Warsop’s colliery deputy.”
Another collection relates to Thomas Cecil Howitt, an architect who after the First World War developed thousands of local authority housing schemes in Nottingham. This little-used mmaterial includes contracts that ccontain details of individuals who wworked on the construction projects, pplus there is a large number of pphotographs “including one of cchildren playing in the middle of aan empty road named Middleton BBoulevard. Locals will know thhat road today as a three-lane ccarriageway that forms part of thhe city’s ring road,” says Ruth.
Nottinghamshire Archives holds a great many family and estate ccollections, including title deeds, reentals and leases, surveys and vvaluations, maps and plans and eestate/household accounts and ccorrespondence. Some of the laanded families include the Belper (SStrutt) family of Kingston on SSoar, the Edge family of Strelley aand the Savile family of Rufford. RRuth says: “Estate collections are not usually the first port of call for family historians. But if your great grandfather worked on the Edwinstowe portion of the Rufford estate, we can tell you how much he earned in December 1837.”
Ruth says that now the refurbishment is complete they are turning their attention to other areas, such as supporting local history groups seeking funding to develop historical projects. They are now working with groups in Edwinstowe, Everton and the Nottinghamshire Deaf Society. They also hope to redevelop the website over the next year, and while there are no firm plans as yet for wholesale digitisation, they are ‘looking closely’ at the county’s parish and electoral registers. “Many people throughout the world have an interest in Nottinghamshire’s heritage,” says Ruth, “and they are just as vital a part of our audience as those who are able to visit us in person.” If you are unable to visit the archives, there are strong local studies collections throughout the county’s library network including Mansfield, Worksop, Nottingham and Newark.
Other significant resources reside at the Manuscripts and Special Collections Department at the University of Nottingham. Its most heavily used genealogical collection is the bonds and allegations for marriage licences granted by the Archdeaconry Court of Nottingham from 1594 to 1884, which can supplement information provided in the parish registers at Nottinghamshire Archives. It also looks after registers of several nonconformist churches and a number of prominent Nottinghamshire families and estates. Plus, if you’re researching your ancestor’s employment and working life, there are important collections of local trade union records, relating to hosiery and tobacco workers, plus the Amalgamated Society of Operative Lace Makers and Auxiliary Workers (1851-1973), which include membership registers.
Children in the 1940s play on what is now the central reservation of Middleton Boulevard, Nottinghamshire