Inspire Heritage Services 2016: in Review

The year 2016 has been a busy one for Nottinghamshire Archives, the county’s local studies provision, and the Records Management Service, which together form Inspire’s Heritage Services. We moved from Nottinghamshire County Council to Inspire, a Community Benefit Society, gained Accredited Archive status under The National Archive’s scheme, and received 183 separate deposits. The team delivered a series of events; both educational and entertaining, developed several partnerships, succeeded in attracting substantial external conservation projects and continued to deliver an exemplary records management service on behalf of NCC.

During 2016 Nottinghamshire Archives received the award of Accredited Archive Service from The National Archives. Obtaining this award was a substantial undertaking as we moved away from the council to become part of Inspire, which only came into being in April 2016. We have received formal confirmation from TNA that the service has been appointed as a Place of Deposit under s4(1) of the Public Records Act. The appointment has been extended to our new extension.

One of the development areas highlighted by The National Archives is provision for digital archives. We have made great strides in the past few months and have contracted with a digital provider to build a new online photo archive, and are speaking to other companies to procure what is known to archivists as a “trusted digital repository”. This system will perform the same function as our current conservation team, only for digital records. Therefore, we will be able to professionally manage both physical and digital archives. This is a major step forward for the service.

Of the 183 accessions received during 2016 two bear special mention for the assistance provided by FONA, without which the documents may have been lost to private collectors. Accession 8990 is a wonderful collection of early twentieth century postcards and photographs from around the county, focusing on Trent Bridge. The items came up for sale in a local auction and a kind donation from FONA covered our buyers’ fees. Accession 8989 was purchased by FONA and deposited with us. There are five volumes of Nottingham City’s Ways and Works Committee along with notes of the archaeology and antiquities of Nottinghamshire. We greatly value these contributions.

Various friends have supported us by volunteering to help at open days, the Great Nottinghamshire History Fair and at other events. We very much appreciate the support.

Inspire’s local studies specialists have been busy developing their offer and collections particularly in regard to libraries which have undergone refurbishment. Significant resource has been invested in the works at Beeston library, which will re-open later in 2017. The team have consolidated and redistributed stock around the county, whilst some resources were identified which will be more properly managed within Nottinghamshire Archives.

The Records Management Service continues to manage and secure tens of thousands of the council’s modern records and works closely with members of the Historic Abuse team, Nottinghamshire Police and other interested parties.

Ruth Imeson
Inspire: Heritage Services Manager
Feb 2017