The preservation of archives for future generations is core to the role of Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre. Central to preservation are appropriate security measures to prevent loss, theft or damage.
Please note that from 6 June 2017 we will be improving the security of our unique archives by the following measures:
• Each researcher may order as many documents as they need but will only be issued with ONE item (which may be a box, a volume, a printed book, a bundle or a single document depending on numbering) at a time.
• Maps accompanied by a survey book will still be produced together, on the map table.
• Researchers wishing to use more than one document at a time (eg to compare handwriting or for some other legitimate purpose) should speak to the duty archivist in advance of ordering, and will need to sit in close proximity to the help desk to use their items.
• Researchers may if they wish to, indicate the priority of documents at the time of ordering to help with allocating this e.g. if you are ordering a deed and a will, but you wish to view the deed first, put ‘Top priority’ on the order slip
• The researcher should return documents to the search room trolley. Staff retrieving these can then issue the next document to the researcher’s table.
It is recommended that elderly/infirm customers sit close to the returns trolley.
• When there is only one document production assistant working, e.g. Saturdays and lunch times, production times may increase.
We are aware that these changes may slow down the speed of accessing documents slightly but we feel confident that we can still meet our target, which is to provide customers with their first document within 20 minutes from the time of ordering. Pre-ordering of documents will assist in enabling our staff to continue to provide an excellent service to researchers.
A cutting edge display is coming to Chippenham as the final stop on a tour of 12 venues across the West of England.
It features images from archives, museums and heritage collections from across the West (including us at the History Centre) and gives a unique insight into the history of the places where we live, work and visit.
It will be on display in the Yelde Hall, Chippenham from 6th March – 28th April alongside objects that explore the long history of Chippenham’s medieval Yelde Hall.
The exhibition is part of ‘Know Your Place – West of England’ digital mapping project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
We’ll be posting about some of the stories from the exhibition on our social media channels throughout the period of the exhibition, so keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.
We’re also hosting a FREE maps workshop on Saturday 10 June called ‘Know Your Place: Putting Wiltshire on the Map’. Claire Skinner will help you find out more about using maps for local history and also demonstrate how you can contribute their knowledge of local heritage to the Know Your Place West of England website. Book your place now on 01249 705500.
* UPDATE 13 Feb 2017. The documents are now available again as normal.
We apologise that due to faulty shelving, document references 348 through to 628/29/5 are currently unavailable. This includes some large and popular collections so please ensure you double check your document references before travelling to see us.
The collections affected include (not a comprehensive list):
348 Society of Genealogists
374 Mullings, Ellett & Co. Solicitors of Cirencester.
413 Benett of Pythouse, Tetbury
415 Keary, Stokes and White. Solicitors of Chippenham
445 Sir Michael Peto
451 Salisbury Diocesan Registry
473 Goldney of Chippenham
490 Earl of Radnor
540 Phipps Family of Leighton and Chalcot in Westbury
574 Awdry, Douglas, and Bailey
628 Farnfield and Nicholls. Solicitors of Warminster (unavailable up to ref 628/29/5)
An engineer has been informed and we will make the material available again as soon as possible. Apologies for any inconvenience.
Have you ever wondered what makes a place the way it is now? Or wished you could travel back in time and discover how an area has changed?
KYPexplore is a cutting-edge digital exhibition which will tour across the West of England giving an insight into the history of the places where we live, work and visit every day.
For the first time in one place, the stories of the people who lived and worked in the varied landscapes of the West of England will be told together – from Miners in Radstock to Peat-cutters in the Somerset levels, Moonrakers of Devizes to Foresters in the Forest of Dean. Historic and modern photos of familiar landscapes will show how places have transformed over time and where they have changed little.
The exhibition innovatively combines graphic panels, touchscreens and an online WebApp to feature extraordinary digital material from archives, museums and heritage collections across the West of England. The exhibition has been curated in collaboration with 24 different organisations to select and display digital images, audio and film on a unique online platform.
The exhibition consists of four identical displays touring simultaneously across the region, allowing it to visit 12 venues across six counties during the six months between November 2016 and April 2017. The exhibition will visit a range of museums, libraries and community spaces across the West of England, including: Bradley Stoke Library in South Gloucestershire, Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire, Dean Heritage Centre in Gloucestershire, Radstock Museum in Bath & NE Somerset, Weston Town Hall in North Somerset and The Bishops Palace in Somerset. The full list of venues can be found on the project website.
The exhibition opens this week at its first four venues: The Glass Box at Taunton Library, Taunton; Bath Central Library, Bath; STEAM Museum, Swindon; and Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre, Bristol; and will be accompanied by a programme of public events to be announced shortly.
The exhibition is available online and can be viewed from any smartphone or connected device, making it accessible to those who cannot visit it in person, and available for audiences to revisit again and again at a time that suits them. Visit the exhibition online.
This exhibition is part of Know Your Place – West of England, the digital mapping project to share your neighbourhood’s heritage online through old maps, historic images and heritage data. The Know Your Place platform recently extended to map Wiltshire, Bath & NE Somerset and Gloucestershire, and work is underway to map North Somerset and Somerset in spring 2017. The project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). To start exploring Know Your Place, visit the project’s website.
Felicia Davies, Project Officer, Know Your Place - West of England, said: “This exhibition is unique in its ambition, geographical spread, use of digital technology and fantastic partnership with many museums, libraries and archives across the area. We hope the rich and varied stories in the exhibition will help visitors make the connection with their own local heritage and inspire them to explore this further on the Know Your Place digital mapping resource.”
Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: “From ensuring information held in centuries-old maps is saved for future generations, to making the changing face of our region accessible at the click of a button, Know Your Place is a fantastic partnership of organisations, communities and volunteers. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we’re delighted to support this project which is quite literally putting the West of England’s heritage on the map.”
The Know Your Place West of England project was awarded £379,800 by HLF, with generous match-funding and in-kind support from local authorities and heritage groups within the region, including £5,000 match-funding from lead partner South Gloucestershire Council.