A report from the Nottinghamshire County Council Communities Committee last week heard about its responsibility to collect, preserve and provide public access to the history of the county, how this was delivered during the pandemic and the developments futures to ensure that the people of Nottinghamshire can learn about its past.
The Nottinghamshire Archives, delivered by Inspire on behalf of the County Council, tell the story of Nottinghamshire and Nottingham from the 12th century with the oldest document dating from 1155. The County Council has statutory responsibility for providing this service while by being recognized as a place of repository for public archives *. The service accredited by the National Archives is based in a purpose-built building of international standards and provides online delivery.
Over the past two years, the Nottinghamshire Archives have moved many of their services online, during times of closure due to the pandemic. An online survey, reprography and research service was provided as well as the use of the photographic showcase at the Inspire Image Archives (IPA) which digitally houses 22,000 images spanning life across the county.
In May 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Inspire Picture Archive featured images from your Victory Day celebrations for the 75e anniversary of the end of the war in Europe. People were also invited to donate photographs of Lock life to ensure the county’s pandemic story is captured for future generations. There are photos of face masks, deserted streets, and socially distant celebrations.
Ruth Imeson, Head of Heritage Services and Data Protection Officer at Inspire, said: “Inspire is proud to preserve the history of the county at the Nottinghamshire Archives since the twelfth century. Through the preservation of more than four million historical records, we help the people of Nottinghamshire understand where they live and their community.
If this happened in Nottinghamshire, we have documented it in one way or another in our collections of papers, parchments and photographs. There is something for everyone, whether it is an interest in churches, the theater in Keyworth or the wartime Ollerton. We are also proud to maintain a service during the last periods of closure, including using volunteers to digitally convert over 30,000 catalog entries. “
Councilor John Cottee, Chair of the Communities Committee added: The archives are an important service and a fascinating place to visit, I encourage individuals and organizations to contact them through our website. Nottinghamshire Archives | Inspire – Culture, Learning, Libraries (inspireculture.org.uk)To find out how the Notts Archives can ensure they collect as much information as possible about the county to ensure that Nottinghamshire’s history is representative and inclusive of all.
‘Next year will also see the return of Nottinghamshire’s great local history fair, live at Mansfield Central Library for the first time since 2019, which is a great way to find out more and involve. “
Current projects the Archives team is working on include upgrading the online archives catalog, developing the Inspire image archive, and digitizing church records. 2022 will also see the return of Nottinghamshire’s great local history fair, live at Mansfield Central Library for the first time since 2019.