Denbighshire Archives- 2014 Review

Staff

The biggest change for the Archives in 2014 was the early retirement of our senior archivist, Jane Brunning. Ms Brunning dedicated 33 years to the office, initially working for Clwyd County Council and then Denbighshire County Council after 1996. Some of her many achievements include-

  • Completion of the Porter catalogue
  • Development of the online indexes
  • Re-locating all the collections during the HLF funded project to redevelop Ruthin Gaol as a museum and archive building
  • Overseeing a large grant-funded project to conserve a number of North Wales Hospital records
  • A number of talks and lectures over the years to many local history and community groups

The staff will be very sorry to lose Jane and wish her all the best for retired life.

Researchers and Enquiries

1252 researchers used our office during 2014 consulting 3662 original documents. Local history is the most popular subject for research accounting for 49% of our researchers, closely followed by family history accounting for 40% of researchers. Other reasons for research include school and college students, teaching professionals carrying out research for lessons and lectures, researchers working on publications and legal/official enquiries.

Some of the main projects we have seen our researchers complete using our collections this year are;

  • Completion of a publication entitled “The History of Ruthin”
  • A history of Wrexham schools
  • Case study of the North Wales Hospital architectural landscape

We answered 927 enquiries by post, email or telephone.

Events and Groups

809 visitors attended our events during 2014 including Open Doors  in September, school visits during February and November and bedtime stories during ‘Museums at Night’. In total 15 public events were held onsite and 5 events took place elsewhere in the county, including schools.

A number of local groups visited us for a talk or tour including the Llanrhaeadr and Cynwyd Women’s Institutes, Corwen Local History Group and Glyndwr University students.

The archives has been involved in a number of filming projects including filming for Hollywood film “Suffragette” due for release during 2015 and the S4C television series “Darn Bach o Hanes”.

Cataloguing and Accessions

You can keep an eye on our new accessions on The National Archives survey here.

50 new accessions were recorded during the year including;

  • Records of Ysgol Twm o’r Nant, Denbigh (ED/24- additional collection)
  • Bryneglwys Parish Records (PD/11 – additional collection)
  • Records of Ysgol Dyffryn Ial (ED/45-  additional collection)
  • Photograph album of Ruthin County School for Girls (DD/DM/1840)
  • The Vivod Estate collection transferred from Flintshire Record Office (DD/V)
  • Chirk Parish Records (PD/19-additional collection)
  • Reports of the County Medical Officer of Health (1951-1955) (CD/H/1/4-5)
  • Records of The United Church in Rhyl (previously known as the English Congregational Church) (ND/178)

A number cataloguing projects were completed in 2014 including the papers of the Fraser-Roberts family of Foxhall (DD/F)

Volunteers

We now have 14 regular volunteers helping us with numerous ongoing projects such as:

  • Cleaning records
  • Creating a searchable index of the North Wales Hospital patients
  • Improvement and digitisation of the catalogues for our school records

In total our volunteers have contributed over 500 hours of volunteer time during 2014. We have had 2 students on work experience placements.

Thank you to all our researchers and volunteers, we have had a very productive and busy year!

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