June 13, 2016
We are pleased to tell readers that our new website is now live. You can view the site at-
The website means that, for the first time, our researchers can view the content of our indexes and selected catalogues online prior to their visit. At the moment, around 25% of our paper catalogues have been added to the site and it is an ongoing process to get the remainder onto the database through the support of our virtual volunteers. We hope to have around 40% of our catalogues available by March 2017.
The website also hosts a selection of enclosure award images which are now available to view free of charge. We hope to have all the awards and plans online by the end of the year.
The website also includes research guides including subjects such as crime and punishment, health and hospitals and electoral registers which we hope will help new researchers find out more about our collections when visiting our pages for the first time.
You can register on the new website and use the booking option to book in advance to use the searchroom, a computer or microfilm reader. It also includes an online payments system where researchers can find an item in the catalogue, request a copy and pay online which we are sure will prove useful for our overseas researchers.
We are encouraging researchers to register and use the new site and provide feedback for us to continue to make improvements. Please leave your feedback on our online form.
June 6, 2016
Not only do we host a group volunteering session, we also have a regular group of virtual volunteers who support our service by volunteering from home.
The virtual volunteers project started with a schools project in April 2015. Between April 2015 and March 2016 our group of virtual volunteers have dedicated a massive 575 hours to our service. We now have 15 regular virtual volunteers working with us but we have had up to 29 at one time. Many volunteers have come to us for experience before embarking on a career in archives or related fields, some have gone on to further study (one to do a masters in heritage studies!) and some have joined to give something back to the archive world.
The project has been so successful that we have now completed our schools project and moved on to other collections. So far, our virtual volunteers have helped us add the following catalogues to our database ready for the launch of our new website later this month-
- 198 primary school, secondary school, college and school board catalogues
- 78 parish catalogues
- 58 parish council catalogues
- A number of private collections including estate and solicitors papers totaling over 5000 items so far!
The dedication from our “virtuals” means that we will be launching our new website with around 25% of our catalogue available to researchers to access online. This is something we could not have achieved without them. We are incredibly thankful to each and every one of them, and we are sure our researchers will reap the benefits of their work for years to come.
Would you like to volunteer from home?
We are looking to recruit new virtual volunteers to help us improve our online catalogue which means converting paper catalogues into a searchable database. At the moment our priority is our private collections such as a large collection of papers relating to J. P. Porter. All you will need is an email address and access to a PC with Microsoft Word or similar. You will be invited to an optional face to face training session and provided with written instructions and examples.
The skills we are looking for include basic computer and typing skills and an eye for detail.
If you would like to support our service and volunteer with us please fill in our Form and return to email@example.com. We also have limited availability for on-site volunteer placements.