Home needed for news archives
Several hundred volumes of Advertiser and Express dating back to 1800s need storing
The search is on for a permanent home for historical archives of the Slough and Windsor Express, which date back to the 1800s.
Due to financial pressures caused by COVID-19, Baylis Media, which owns the Express and the Maidenhead Advertiser, had to downsize its office leaving nowhere to store several hundred large volumes of newspapers.
The company decided to list them on eBay in an attempt to find someone interested in taking the archives, after several attempts to find a new home for them were unsuccessful.
A listing was put on eBay starting at 99p. Shortly after a bid came through for £1,000, which the company decided not to accept.
Instead, the eBay listing brought much-needed attention to the archives and renewed interest in saving them.
Jeremy Spooner, chief exec
utive officer of Baylis Media, said “It was never about money – it was about finding a home for the archives.
“In the end, putting them on eBay saved the day.”
The company was contacted by Windsor Local History Group (WLHG), which rescued many volumes of the Windsor and Eton Express.
Six members of the group are currently keeping the volumes in their garages, until they can find a permanent home for them.
“It is not ideal, it is very much a temporary home,” said Brigitte Mitchell, chair of WLHG. “We want them to go somewhere where they will be available for public viewing. We are very passionate about them and we really don’t want to see them lost.”
Berkshire College of Agriculture has expressed an interest in taking the newspaper volumes, but there is some question as to whether or not the college will have space to house them all.
These volumes are all those which have already been digitised and are available to view with a subscription, or can be accessed by local charities and educational organisation without charge.
There are still 100 more copies of the Express to digitise, with a view to rehome these in the future as well.
As for the copies of the Advertiser, Maidenhead Heritage Centre has been formally offered all 105 volumes, each containing a year’s worth of newspapers. However, it is possible the heritage centre will not be able to take them.
Volunteer Martin Shaw is holding the volumes in the hope that a permanent home can be found.
Email mitchell.brigitte @gmail.com if you can provide a home or have a suggestion for the Express volumes.
Hundreds of volumes of the Advertiser and Express need a home.