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Celebration at Hampshire Record Office

Historic documents spanning 900 years, including one of the early Winchester Pipe Rolls, which are registered with UNESCO, were on display at a special evening celebration on 18 October, hosted by Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, and Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage, Councillor Seán Woodward.

Hampshire County Council’s Record Office was formally presented with the award of Archive Service Accreditation, by the Chief Executive and Keeper at The National Archives, Jeff James.

Councillor Perry said: “This award comes during the year marking the 25th anniversary of this award-winning Record Office building, which was opened by Her Majesty the Queen in November 1993. It is also the 30th anniversary of Wessex Film and Sound Archive. The award provides well-deserved recognition for the hard-working team who look after our rich, diverse and important collections, and the high-quality customer service they provide to the 6,500 people who annually consult the archives and participate in our events, as well as the wider audience of 134,000 reached by the team.”

Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage, Councillor Seán Woodward, said: “We take our responsibility to preserve Hampshire’s historic records very seriously, and we’re very proud of our Record Office. I’m delighted by this award, which puts Hampshire Record Office within just 5% of archive services that are accredited in the UK.”

Archive Service Accreditation is the UK quality standard for the archives industry. The award demonstrates the service’s good performance against national standards relating to its management and resources, the care of its unique collections and the service it offers to customers.

Chief Executive of The National Archives, Jeff James, said: “The Accreditation Panel recognised this as an excellent service and highlighted the very strong relationship Hampshire Record Office has with the County Council, and the pioneering work being done on digital records. In addition, the enthusiasm and expertise of the volunteers was hugely evident to the Panel, and their commitment to the service was inspiring.”

‘Designated’ as outstanding and a world class collection, the archives span more than 1,000 years of history and form a unique treasure trove of stories from the past, ranging from letters by Florence Nightingale and Jane Austen, to war diary entries from the Western Front recording the Christmas Truce of 1914, and even a rare 10th century Anglo-Saxon charter.

At the celebration, guests explored an exhibition of documents to mark the end of World War One, women’s suffrage, and the 70th anniversary of the NHS, as well as highlights from earlier eras, and a showing of historic film footage from Wessex Film and Sound Archive.

Anyone is welcome to delve into these fascinating resources by visiting Hampshire Record Office, in Winchester (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 4pm on first and third Saturdays). A range of social media – including Facebook, Twitter and a blog opens up this treasure-chest of history to a wider audience.

To find out more and sign up for the e-newsletter, visit www.hants.gov.uk/librariesandarchives/archives

(L to R): Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage, Councillor Seán Woodward, Hampshire County Council Leader, Councillor Roy Perry, Head of Archives and Records at Hampshire Record Office, Caroline Edwards, and Chief Executive and Keeper at The National Archives, Jeff James

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