December edition of the Staffordshire Archives & Heritage Update

Staffordshire Archives and Heritage
Christmas greetings from the Archives and Heritage Service


Welcome to the December edition of the  Staffordshire Archives and Heritage Service e-newsletter. The Archives and Heritage team would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Peaceful New Year. 


History Access Point at Lichfield Library

Anita and Rebecca enjoying the new History Access Point

History Access Point: Our new home at Lichfield

Our new History Access Point on the first floor in the new Lichfield Library at St Mary’s opened on Monday 17 December. Visitors can browse maps, books, microform and online resources in one space. Research your family history online free of charge via Ancestry, Find My Past and other genealogical websites or browse our microfiche collection for post 1900 parish records. Find out about Lichfield across the ages via the microfilm collection of the Lichfield Mercury spanning over a hundred years of newspapers. Browse the local history books to find out about famous locals and interesting information about Lichfield and the surrounding area. Use our new digitable to view maps and records of your ancestors on a large scale.
If you would like to be more involved and volunteer at the History Access Point please apply to Lichfield Library to become a Local Studies Volunteer, and share your knowledge and experience with the local community and visitors. More details can be found here.

A Thank you to all our Volunteers 

Volunteers across the Archives and Heritage Service have put a huge amount of time and effort into supporting the projects that have been running this year. There isn’t room here to mention everything but it is safe to say that all the hard work is greatly appreciated. At the William Salt Library NADFAS have completed their indexing work on the Staffs Advertiser up to 1955 which is quite a massive achievement and Randle Knight has been working on the WSL journal holdings in preparation for the relocation of the collection. Over half of the Library collection is not catalogued so this is a really important and significant contribution to the work of the Library.

At the museum, as well as their usual collections care, digitisation and documentation roles the volunteers have been involved in preparing, packing and inventorying of objects prior to, during and after the collections move from Shugborough to Beacon Business Park. Ian Denny has been acting as honorary curator for the ‘Puppets on Parade’ exhibition and Bob Metcalfe and John Bennett have both made big contributions to the Staffordshire Pasttrack and Jake Whitehouse website projects.

Our former Lichfield Record Office volunteers are continuing working on the Copy Wills card index 1858-1928, working remotely to do this. Approximately 4,700 index cards have been entered onto spreadsheets to date.

At Stoke there are two thriving volunteer groups; the 16th/5th Lancers who have spent the year enhancing the Lancers catalogue which is about to go live in the near future and Michelin who have seen a successful year of recruitment to raise their numbers to around 15. There are also a number of individuals working on a wide range of projects: Indexing the Poor Law Guardians Minutes, assisting Louise Ferriday in the task of cataloguing the Doulton Archive, researching the location and history of images from the Bert Bentley Archive and uploading them to Pasttrack, auditing and cataloguing the local studies maps received from Newcastle Library, typing up the indexes of others and working on the Foxfield Railway Archive.

At Stafford our Tuesday groups are still going strong. Quarter Session rolls listing continues to progress and Jim Sutton is listing the Latin indictments and is now back to 1627. Vicki Fox is working on the Quarter Sessions prosecution briefs, which are, so far catalogued up to 1915, almost 700 cases. Since June good progress has been by the Parish Rights of Way surveys project. 37 out of 184 surveys are now available on Gateway to the Past. The Magistrates Records and Felony projects were both completed in July, the indexing of the Littleton Letters continues and the indexing of building plans for Leek Rural District has been completed.

The digitisation volunteers have completed the CP65 photograph collection and have now made a start on the first two volumes of motor vehicle registration indexes. Amongst many other things volunteers have been working on indexing references to parents of illegitimate children found in the poor law collections with nearly 11,000 entries so far and putting catalogues on to CALM such as the Hilton Hall Estate papers the Neville, Jennings and Clifford, solicitors papers and Blagg, Son and Masefield of Cheadle, a large solicitors’ collection.

This year the preservation volunteers have completed repackaging the Bagnalls Locomotive collection and the Electoral Registers. They have also repackaged the records of the Philips family and have recently started working on the Glebe Terriers, which require cleaning, putting into date order, numbering and packaging.

We have a number of projects working in partnership with Universities, not least volunteers working on the Flood and Drought Project as part of our Collaborative Ph.Ds with Liverpool University. Work on the Pauper vouchers in our parish collections has continued, working with Prof. Alannah Tomkins, supported by Dr. Pete Collinge. This pilot led to funding for a larger project across the country whilst here in Staffordshire the project has gone from strength to strength, enhancing our catalogues and providing some really interesting stories coming out on the project blog.

The VCH Group has been working with Dr. Andrew Sargent of the VCH and Keele University. The volunteers have been working their way through the volumes of Collections for a History of Staffordshire, pulling out references to the townships and parishes of the Uttoxeter region.

We would like to thank everyone for their time, energy and support, including all those working on individual projects which provide invaluable information to improve our catalogues and help researchers. We look forward to welcoming you all back in 2019! 

New Group for Younger Volunteers

Having volunteered on cataloguing projects in the past Caroline Hillman has just started a new volunteer project looking at the records of children in care, whilst at the same time carrying out research on volunteering and young people for her master’s course in Archives and Records Management. If you know of anyone in the age range 18-24 who might be interested in joining do let us know.

The Close General Register

Seasonal records from Lichfield Cathedral
Extract from the beautifully-written Cathedral register for December 1748, featuring the baptism of Dickensian-sounding Fettiplace Nott, and father of the same name.
The Cathedral registers are noteworthy for the huge number of marriages that took place there, mostly under licence from the Dean and Chapter. The people who married there came from all over the Diocese, including from Birmingham and surrounding towns. But the tightening of the marriage laws in 1754 affected the trade in Cathedral weddings, and from that year only residents of The Close were entitled to be married in the Cathedral, so just a few marriages appear in this composite register from then on.
The registers and marriage licence records can be found within The Staffordshire Collection on the FindMyPast website.

PhD Opportunity

Come and research our collections, news of our PhD funding success!
‘Occupational stress and the Victorian asylum’
This full time three-year PhD studentship, starting in September 2019, is fully funded by the Economic & Social Sciences Research Council CASE studentship scheme (ESRC NWSSDTP), together with Keele University and the Staffordshire Archives and Heritage Service. This PhD will explore occupational stress as a ‘cause’ of asylum admission in the period 1818-1918. It aims to (i) identify all admissions to the three Staffordshire lunatic asylums where the ‘predisposing cause’ or explanation given for mental ill health was related to occupation; (ii) to track patterns of pre-admission behaviour and post-admission prognosis for this cohort of patients; and (iii) to analyse in greater depth the admissions for all persons within two contrasting occupational groups, where one of the groups encompasses professional men.

Further information:
Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews should be directed to Professor Alannah Tomkins  Candidates must have qualifications of a standard Batchelor’s degree at first or upper second class level, and a suitable Master’s degree. Candidates will need to demonstrate that they have received rigorous training in historical research methods evidenced by, for example, the completion of an MRes in History. Interviews are expected to take place at Keele University on 5 March 2019. Candidates invited for interview are expected to cover their own travel expenses.
An ESRC studentship includes an annual tax-free stipend at RCUK rate (currently £14,777) plus a tuition fee waiver of £4260. The full package is worth £19,037 per year for three years. Closing date: Midnight, Sunday 18 February 2018. Find out more

Our aim is to keep you updated with the latest developments and events. If you do not wish to receive this newsletter please use the 'unsubscribe' button at the bottom of this page. 

Events and Exhibitions
Staffordshire Archives News


Staffordshire Archives News


Staffordshire Archives News


Manage your subscription tothis newsletter or unsubscribe here