Record Office marks 70 years gathering history
HAMPSHIRE in Winchester, how the documents can help provide a vivid sense of the past and how that resonates with the present.
“We would encourage everyone to visit the Record Office, whether it’s for research or for attending workshops and events, to discover what they love about Hampshire’s past.”
The Record Office officially opened on October 20 1947 in the former premises of a bank in the city’s High Street.
It relocated to the county council’s Castle Avenue offices in 1959, then to St Thomas’s Church in 1972 before moving to its current, purpose- built premises in Sussex Street, in 1993.
Under the expertise of archivists, the Record Office offers free on- site and online access to fascinating items, including Poor Law records, title deeds, maps, photographs, diaries and parish registers – all stored in climate- controlled strong rooms.
Wessex Film and Sound Archive, which is also based at the Record Office, brings history to life through 38,000 visual and audio recordings, from late- Victorian times to the present day.
The historically significant preserved items include the Winchester Pipe Rolls – the most complete set of manorial accounts in the country, dating from 1208/ 9 almost unbroken to 1710/ 11.
They depict a record of income and expenditure across the Bishop of Winchester’s estates in southern England. The Pipe Rolls were placed on the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register in 2011.
The Record Office holds a number of Austen documents, also Jane in- cluding her baptism record from 1775, written by her father, and the record of her burial in Winchester Cathedral in 1817.
It houses an Anglo Saxon charter dated 957, which records a grant of land and has been a part of Winchester Cathedral’s archives for at least 370 years, although it actually relates to Conington in Cambridgeshire.
The Record Office also holds more than 100 letters written by Florence Nightingale, including one she wrote in 1826, aged six, to her Aunt Ann about the eclipse of the moon.
It also has the oldest film reel of the firing of torpedoes from the side of a naval ship in North Harbour in Portsmouth, which dates from 1897.
For more information about the Record Office, visit www. hants. gov. uk/ archives.