Normally I take part in Friday My Town Shoot Out from my Picture Book blog. Yesterday however was not a normal Friday. For one thing I was away from home most of the day; and for another I couldn’t think of Anything At All to do with The Letter A, which was the theme for this week’s Shoot Out…
But then today it was Open House at our Town Archives, which suddenly struck me as an acceptable A-word. So I decided to link to FMTSO from here even though it’s both the wrong day and the wrong blog. Daring, but I hope we shall all survive!
(I’m putting the post on this blog because my own private complicated archiving system tells me that’s the best place for it.)
The photo is from the Town Archives’ Research Hall, which is really just the Anteroom to the bigger labyrinth of the archives. Normally when you visit, you ask an archivist for the article you want, and it is they who will enter the Chamber of Secrets* or Department of Mysteries* to get it out for you.
Today at Open House however they also had guided tours into the Restricted Section* (the actual archives). For some reason though I forgot to take pictures in there. Maybe they cast some kind of memory spell* on you when you enter!
[* Sorry for all the Harry Potter references. I’ve been watching HP films seven nights in a row; still waiting for the eighth.]
One of the things I learned from the visit today is that our town was one of the first in the country to establish a Town Archive.
Besides records (and photos) of the development and decisions of the town, they also keep for example original copies of the local newspaper, and certain court records etc. They also provide archive space for non-profit organizations, societies and clubs. And even some ‘private’ collections.
One of the reasons why I wanted to take the opportunity to learn a bit more about this place was that I’m hoping they might also want to take in some of the local history research notes left by my granddad and dad. On an occasion like this I could of course only ask general questions, but I think it might be worth pursuing.