Grant funding to put borough archives online
Berwick Record Office has unveiled a one-year programme to unlock the full value of its unique historical records.
It has appointed an experienced archivist, Teresa Maley, to recatalogue the collection and work with a team of volunteers to create a definitive catalogue of the Borough Archive collection.
The project is being funded by a £31,000 grant from Archives Revealed, a new scheme run by The National Archives and The Pilgrim Trust.
The Berwick archive is one of the first nine collections across the UK selected to receive funding – and that reflects its national significance, says archivist Linda Bankier.
“This is a core collection for researching the history of Berwick and its families from the 16th to 20th centuries,” she said. “There’s no other collection like it. Berwick has never allowed its records to be kept outside the town, and it’s built a unique record of an exceptional community on the border between England and Scotland.”
This will be the first update of the archive’s catalogue since 1978. It will include much new material that’s been added to the collection since then – and will provide a full online catalogue for the first time.
The work will make the collection much more accessible and encourage greater use by both local people and scholars worldwide. It will also provide an important resource for tourism, interpretation and regeneration projects such as the planned visitor centre and the revitalisation of the Barracks.
The Guild of Freemen and the Friends of Berwick & District Museum and Archives have provided additional funding to support the volunteering programme and outreach work to increase awareness in the community.
Teresa is seeking more volunteers to help catalogue, research and repackage documents in conservation-grade materials. If you’re interested, no experience necessary, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Teresa will also be maintaining a blog as a diary of the project, recording progress and highlighting ‘gems’ that the team discovers in the records.
“Berwick has been much researched and written about,” she says, “but I think there’s still a lot to uncover.”
You can follow the blog – Twixt Thistle and Rose – at https://www.northumberlandarchives.com/blog/.