Articles tagged with: local studies

A week in the Archives…starting with a Full English

on Tuesday, 27 May 2014. Posted in Archives

When I am asked to write a blog I try to find an interesting or curious subject to write about and as I was thinking about this I started to reflect on the variety of activities that happen within the Archives & Local Studies Service. So I thought I would share this with our blog readers.


Though strictly at the end of last week, my week began on Saturday with an event held by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) at the History Centre to promote the Full English project, which has seen the digitisation of 19 archive collections or 80,000 pages of manuscript, involving volunteers around the world, and including the Alfred Williams collection of folk songs held at the History Centre. The Full English was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund with a £585,400 grant, but as the EFDSS Library Director, Malcolm Taylor OBE, told the audience, the original project was conceived in a pub! It makes the digitised archives available to the whole world and has even inspired the formation of a folk-super group of the same name who won at the BBC 2 Folk Awards.

How it all stems from... the Kilmersdon Railway

on Saturday, 09 November 2013. Posted in Photography

As part of one of our current Local Studies projects to house colour transparencies which the History Centre has been acquiring over many years, we are constantly trying to identify scenes and buildings that we hold no additional details for. This calls for a little detective work, perseverance, and sometimes even a little luck!

We are happy to welcome volunteers who kindly spend many a valuable hour with us working on various projects and collections. One such volunteer was happening by whilst I was looking at some unlocated railway photographs. He was fairly sure he recognised the railway as the Kilmesdon Railway, situated near Radstock in Somerset. With the help of our scanner to enlarge the image and were able to confirm that the set of images were indeed those of the Kilmserdon Railway.

On another occasion some volunteers from Salisbury were able to put names to the buildings contained within photographs of Salisbury. Another willing volunteer paid us a visit to help identify railway signal boxes and also gave us some helpful information leading to another two volunteers joining us to help index railway plans.

We try to make use of a myriad of local resources such as the wonderful and comprehensive Swindon Collection on flickr from the Local Studies section of Swindon Library. Their site helped us identify the Bakers Arms as being located on the Beechcroft Road in Upper Stratton.

This collaborative teamwork exists not only between colleagues here at the History Centre, but also with the volunteers who give up their time on our behalf. I hope this blog illustrates just some of the many reasons why we couldn't do without them!

Brian Shipp
Local Studies and Helpdesk Team

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