Monday 4 March 2024
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Telling the story of Nottinghamshire back to the twelfth century

A report at last week’s Nottinghamshire County Council’s Communities committee, heard about its responsibility to collect, preserve, and provide public access to the county’s history, how this was delivered during the pandemic and future developments to ensure the people of Nottinghamshire can discover its past.

Nottinghamshire Archives, delivered by Inspire on behalf of the County Council, tells the story of Nottinghamshire and Nottingham from the twelfth century with the oldest document dating back to 1155. The County Council has statutory responsibilities to provide this service as well as being recognised as a place for the deposit of public records*. The service accredited by The National Archives is based in an international standard, purpose-built building as well as providing online delivery.

Over the past two years Nottinghamshire Archives moved many of its services online, during periods of closure due to the pandemic. An online enquiry, reprographics and research service was provided as well as utilising the photographic showcase at the Inspire Picture Archive (IPA) which digitally hosts 22,000 images covering life throughout the county.

In May 2020 at the height of the pandemic the Inspire Picture Archive showcased images of your VE Day celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe. People were also invited to donate photographs of Lockdown Life to ensure the county’s pandemic story is captured for future generations. There are photos of face masks, deserted streets and socially distanced celebrations.

Ruth Imeson, Heritage Services Manager & Inspire Data Protection Officer said: “Inspire is proud to preserve the County’s history at Nottinghamshire Archives back to the twelfth century. Through the preservation of over four million historic documents, we help the people of Nottinghamshire understand the place they live and their community.

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If it happened in Nottinghamshire, we have it documented in some way in in our paper, parchment and photographic collections. There is something for everyone to enjoy whether it’s an interest in church buildings, drama in Keyworth, or wartime Ollerton. We are also proud of maintaining a service during recent periods of closure including utilising volunteers to digitally convert over 30,000 catalogue entries.”

Councillor John Cottee, Chairman of the Communities committee added: The Archive is an important service and a fascinating place to visit, I would encourage individuals and organisations to make contact through our website Nottinghamshire Archives | Inspire – Culture, Learning, Libraries (” to find out how Notts Archives can ensure they collect as much information about the county as possible to ensure the Nottinghamshire story is representative and inclusive of all.

“Next year will also see the return of The Great Nottinghamshire Local History Fair, live at Mansfield Central Library for the first time since 2019, which is a great way of finding out more and getting involved.”

Current projects the Archives team are working on include the upgrading of the archives online catalogue, the development of the Inspire Picture Archive, and the digitisation of parish registers. 2022 will also see the return of The Great Nottinghamshire Local History Fair, live at Mansfield Central Library for the first time since 2019.

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