New Staffordshire history centre announced

I’ve often spoken of Staffordshire’s fascinating history and rich heritage that we are all very proud of.  Well, this month, we’ve had some very encouraging news which will help us get even more people interested in the county’s and their own family history while preserving future historical records.

Heritage Lottery have agreed to fund a project which will see a new multi-million pound modern history centre for the county.  Our Archives team have been working closely with our partners and local history groups and to secure the funds so it’s great news that we’ve got to this stage.

The new centre will create a two-storey link between the Staffordshire Record Office and the William Salt Library on Eastgate Street in Stafford.  It will hold records up to 1,000 years old, as well as having a new community exhibition space, modern search rooms and strong rooms to provide storage for an additional 25 years of future collections.

Along the way, we’ll be asking people for their ideas to help make sure the centre gives people what they need.  In the future we will also be taking much more activities out into local schools and communities.  We’ll be firming up plans over the next year and you can follow progress at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/archives/ourvision

Staying with the Archives Service, a great example of the kinds of historical records we need to preserve have been the focus of an exciting project also funded by Heritage Lottery. During the Great War, conscription forced men all over the country into mandatory military service. This had many objectors, and appeal tribunals were set up to oversee the process and hear the cases of men who refused to go to war.

All such records were ordered to be destroyed after the conflict. But lucky for us, in Staffordshire an oversight meant these records survived. The records offer a fascinating insight into the lives of those affected and are now being exhibited and discussed at a special study day on Saturday 25 June 2016.  It’s an incredible story and you can find out more about the event and book your place at https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/leisure/archives/Events/home.aspx,

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