Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section


Electronic Newsletter

Issue No. 6 Winter 2006/7


 ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER

The newsletter is intended to keep you informed about the latest news from the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library. It is edited by Philippa Smith, Deputy Keeper of Manuscripts. Please feel free to forward it to anyone you think might like to read it. The newsletter now has nearly 230 subscribers. If you are not already on the mailing list, and would like to receive future issues, please email us at manuscripts.guildhall@cityoflondon.gov.uk.

IN THIS ISSUE:

All Change! A new structure for the Libraries, Archives and Guildhall Art Gallery Department

We’re the tops! (top ratings for the City of London’s archive services)

Staff news: Annie Hunter retires

Building works

Measuring Up: enquiry service statistics for October-December 2006

Cataloguing news: Out, damned spot!

Jobs for the Girls (more about the occupations of Christ’s Hospital girls)

National Survey of Visitors to British Archives (comments analysis)

Conservation: Disaster management (or, thinking the unthinkable!)

More volumes of the index to Lloyd’s Captains Registers now available

The City Boys (and Girls): publishing indexes to Livery Company apprenticeship records (by Cliff Webb)

Archives online: 1911 census returns; ancestorsonboard; Collections Link

Ancestors magazine (news of more articles contributed by the Manuscripts Section)

Guided tours of Guildhall Library (including electronic resources and sources for family historians)

Forthcoming events at London Metropolitan Archives

Archives for London seminars

Exhibitions: London Before and After the Great Fire: Etchings by Wenceslaus Hollar, 1607-1677 (in Guildhall Library       Print Room); William Powell Frith: Painting the Victorian Age (at Guildhall Art Gallery)

Who Do You Think You Are? Live

London Street Market Tours

We welcome your views!

Contact details

ALL CHANGE! A NEW STRUCTURE FOR THE LIBRARIES, ARCHIVES AND GUILDHALL ART GALLERY DEPARTMENT

The Department of Libraries, Archives and Guildhall Art Gallery has changed. On 1 January 2007, a new structure for the enlarged department incorporating London Metropolitan Archives came into effect, with two new divisions - Libraries and Heritage - replacing the former divisions of Libraries and Archives, and Art Galleries and Support Services. Barry Cropper, formerly Assistant Director (Art Galleries and Support Services) is now Assistant Director (Libraries), and Deborah Jenkins, formerly Head Archivist at London Metropolitan Archives, is Assistant Director (Heritage). The restructuring will lead to closer collaboration and harmonisation within the library, archive and art gallery services run by the City of London.

WE’RE THE TOPS!

We have recently been notified that both of the City of London’s archive services (Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section and London Metropolitan Archives) achieved top ratings of three stars in the assessment of local authority archive services carried out by the inspection service of the National Archives in 2006.  In addition, London Metropolitan Archives achieved the best overall result in England, and the inspectors have acknowledged its status as the best local authority archive service in the country.

The results of the assessment are gratifying and reflect the commitment of   the City of London to its archive services as well as the hard work and creativity of its staff. They provide a useful base for the Department to continue developing its archive services in the future.

STAFF NEWS: ANNIE HUNTER RETIRES

Annie Hunter, our long-serving Strongroom Assistant, retired at the end of November 2006, and will be sorely missed. Keeper of Manuscripts, Stephen Freeth, writes:

Annie joined Guildhall Library in the late 1980s, as one of the first lady Services Assistants in the Library. (That was quite a change in itself!) She transferred to the Manuscripts Section as Strongroom Assistant on 1 November 1990, on the retirement of the previous postholder, Ted Hull.

The Strongroom Assistant is responsible for shelving new accessions, labelling newly-catalogued manuscripts with reference numbers, and maintaining the shelf list. He or she also keeps the stores tidy, and deals with the swarms of contractors, fire extinguisher inspectors, smoke alarm fitters, electricians, air conditioning engineers and others who need access to the stores, often at short notice. This may not sound too strenuous, until you realise that the Section has several linear miles of shelving (the current figure is just under six linear miles), very densely stored on an expensive site. Archives are heavy, around 20/25 shelves to the ton, and everything needs to be tidy, labelled and safe, despite a regular inflow of between 100 and 350 shelves of new accessions per year. This means a great deal of reshelving, to create space for new accessions, to ensure that the most popular items are near the hoists, and to meet changing needs, such as the increase in recent years in large flat items such as charters. Archives can also be extremely dusty and dirty, especially cheap Victorian business ledgers, all made with acidic materials and now crumbling away spontaneously. Business records are one of the glories of the Manuscripts Section, but crumbling books would need dedication even from a Professor of Economic History.

In addition, the Section has a happy tendency to refurbish or rebuild entire strongrooms at regular intervals, and to invite total strangers to bring their pneumatic drills to dig up the floor at weekends (all of which needs to be invigilated), while the Keeper of Manuscripts (me) delights in showing the stores to City VIPs, many of them retired senior officers from the Armed Services, without warning, several times a month. These VIPs expect to see a store that is efficient, i.e. spick and span, like a barrack room, and Annie has delivered exactly this, year after year. In other words, she was at the robust end of the spectrum!

More seriously, the Section is proud of its storage areas, especially the Manuscripts Store under the main library. This is our showpiece, and we admit members of the public for guided tours whenever we can. (Tours are advertised regularly in this Newsletter.)  Those of you who have been on one will remember Annie, the lady with grey hair and wearing a blue overall, bringing up the rear of the party, stopping people from getting lost, and answering questions in her pleasant lowland Scots accent.

We wish Annie all the best in her retirement in Lee, in south London, with her cat, Nesbit. Her role has been taken on secondment for six months by Paul Delaney, another Services Assistant, who has made a splendid start.

BUILDING WORKS

Construction work has been going on since the Summer on the Guildhall North Block, adjacent to Guildhall Library (you can see work going on from the Manuscripts Section reading room). This will create modern efficient offices for City of London staff, and better facilities for staff and public. The work is due for completion in Spring 2008.

Noise and disruption are an inevitable aspect of construction activities, and we have had periods of noisy working in the last few weeks. We have been told that unfortunately this work cannot be postponed or done out of hours, but if the noise does get too much to bear, please let us know and we will endeavour to contact the contractors.

On one occasion recently, we also experienced unpleasant fumes from the building work. Please let us know if you notice anything similar, as it is possible to refresh the air in the reading room.

In addition, we seem to have had more than our fair share of fire alarms recently. We apologise for any disruption to your research that this may have caused. Please see newsletter no. 4 for advice on what to do when the alarm sounds. You must be ready to leave the building promptly: delay may put yourself and others at risk.

MEASURING UP: ENQUIRY SERVICE STATISTICS FOR OCTOBER TO DECEMBER 2006

The number of written enquiries, particularly emails, continues to increase apace and overall this year has seen each monthly total exceed that of the year before, often by a significant amount. In spite of these increases, the Manuscripts Section continues to exceed its target of at least 85% of written enquiries answered within two days of receipt, with an average of almost 99.5% answered within two days over the three month period. The City of London Corporation’s target is 100% within 10 days.

This year has been busier in a number of other areas too. We had our biggest monthly total of visitors since August 2001 in March this year, and the greatest monthly total of original documents produced in the reading room since July 2003 in September. Telephone enquiries too reached their highest monthly total since February 2003 in November.

It seems that record repositories throughout the country have been busier this year. This has mostly been put down to an explosion of interest in family history owing to the BBC series “Who do you think you are?” However, here in the Manuscripts Section our peaks in use, in the Spring, Summer and Autumn, are usually associated by us with an increased number of academic visitors, often from overseas. The evidence from recent surveys (see the article on the PSQG survey in the last issue) confirms that we have a higher proportion of academic users than most other record offices, and so our increases are not only to be explained by the rising popularity of family history.

October 2006

634 visitors to the reading room (541 in 2005)

1790 documents produced in the reading room (1156)

266 written enquiries (184)

258 telephone calls (220)

Enquiry response time for written enquiries (target at least 85% answered within two days): 99.6% answered within two days; over 93% answered on the day of receipt.

November 2006

679 visitors to the reading room (558 in 2005)

1525 documents produced in the reading room (1242)

277 written enquiries (156)

289 telephone calls (183)

Enquiry response time: 99.3% answered within two days; 88.8% answered on the day of receipt.

December 2006

391 visitors to the reading room (382 in 2005)

976 documents produced in the reading room (958)

186 written enquiries (131)

141 telephone calls (139)

Enquiry response time: 99.4% answered within two days; 87.6% answered on the day of receipt.

CATALOGUING NEWS: OUT, DAMNED SPOT!

Charlie Turpie, Deputy Keeper of Manuscripts, who manages the section’s cataloguing programme, describes an annual task to make records more available:

Every January we release records which have just emerged from a closure period, often 30 years, but sometimes 70, and occasionally (for pupil records) 100 years. Philippa wrote about this in the January 2006 newsletter, but I wanted to explain a little bit more about the mechanics of the system.

Records which depositors wish to keep closed for a period are physically marked in our store with a green spot. This signals to the service assistant that the volume or file cannot be produced in the reading room unless the request has been approved by the enquiry desk staff. If a request slip goes down unapproved for a “green spot” item, the service assistant sends the slip back up with a green spot on it to show the restriction.

Readers can usually see these records, but they need to seek written permission from the depositor. The enquiry desk has contact details for all collections which include restricted records, so please do ask if you see “Restricted access” against any item in which you are interested. (This is not the same as closed access, which only means that the item is, like almost all our holdings, not on an open shelf.)

In January we take the green spot off the volume or file and also remove it from the finding list. We also take the restriction off the finding list database and off the online catalogue, which requires a lot of “delete” key work. My thanks go to Archives Assistant Jonathan Burton and Strongroom Assistant Paul Delaney who carried out this work for 202 items this year.

JOBS FOR THE GIRLS

We have had a response from a reader relating to Charlie’s piece on Christ’s Hospital records in the last newsletter. Amy Erickson, Senior Research Associate of the Group for Population History at the University of Cambridge, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, wrote:

“I read in the Autumn newsletter about the newly catalogued Christ's Hospital records. I was intrigued to see that "from 1902 the entries also give the pupil's occupation.... Occupations are given of boys only. However, I suspect that many of the girls went into domestic service and if you find a "care of" address which is not a family member, this probably indicates a girl who went into service."

Your readers may be interested to know that the post-school occupation of the child is almost always specified in the Hospital records from the later 17th and 18th centuries. At that time, I have not found a single girl sent into domestic service: they are all apprenticed to learn a trade of some kind. This is in contrast to the Foundling Hospital, where girls were commonly sent into domestic service, although also sometimes set to work in trades. The Christ's records of apprenticeship start to tail off -- at least for girls -- in the later 18th century. I wonder when it became acceptable for Christ's Hospital to send a girl into domestic service?”

Do any other readers have any ancestors who were Christ’s Hospital girls whose occupation after school they know? Christ’s Hospital certainly did have a higher social status than say King Edward’s School, Witley and it would be interesting to see if anyone has any information that would help show what happened to the girls after school in the 19th and early 20th centuries. If you can shed more light on this, please email the editor (manuscripts.guildhall@cityoflondon.gov.uk) and we will report back in a subsequent issue.

NATIONAL SURVEY OF VISITORS TO BRITISH ARCHIVES

In February and March 2006 about 120 archives across the UK took part in the latest National Survey of Visitors to British Archives. In the last issue of the newsletter we reported on the Manuscripts Section’s results which compared well with the national averages. 100% of our visitors said that the quality and appropriateness of the advice they received from the staff was very good or good and that staff were friendly and helpful. Nearly three quarters felt that the advice was very good, while 92.9% rated the helpfulness and friendliness of staff as very good. 95.8% of people rated our overall service as good or very good.

As always, the additional comments made by those who completed the surveys are revealing, and as promised, we now look at the issues which received the most attention.

The questionnaire revealed that 30.1% of visitors thought that the area where we most ought to improve was visitor facilities, and most of the negative comments received related to the lack of a decent place to eat, or even buy, refreshments within Guildhall Library, the limited toilet facilities, and the lack of lockers. A typical comment was:

“The staff are very helpful in every way. Service is quick and efficient. The only complaint related to the lack of facilities to sit and eat lunch in the building, and the state of the toilets … This lack of public facilities lets down the rest of the service.”

Another wrote:

“There should be lockers available for visitors. … Now there is no place to have lunch in the building. Toilet facilities are rather limited. It is not nice to go to the toilet with all personal belongings.”

Unfortunately, visitors can see the space crisis for themselves when they visit Guildhall Library and there is little scope for expanding visitor facilities at present. At the time of the survey, we were without an area for visitors to eat their own refreshments owing to building works. This area has been reinstated, but we are aware that it is not ideal, being opposite a stairwell and lift, and adjacent to the toilets. In the past, you could not buy refreshments within the library, but, as we have previously reported, visitors can now use the sandwich trolley which visits the lower ground floor between 11.00 and 11.30 Monday to Friday. In addition, there are innumerable eating places close to the library and staff will be pleased to point readers in the right direction. See newsletter 4 for more on this and other local facilities.

The absence of lockers is not only the result of lack of space, but also the result of security advice received from the City Police, who regard Guildhall as a sensitive site. Unfortunately, this does mean that visitors have to keep their personal belongings with them at all times when they are in the Library (even when visiting the toilets), although the Manuscripts Section does have hooks where you can leave your coats and umbrellas.

A significant proportion of users (24.7%) also thought we could improve our microfilm and microfiche viewing facilities. The comments reveal that some users dislike the manual viewers and would like more electric viewers (we currently have two out of 11, plus a reader printer):

“Microfilm readers antiquated.”

“Would like more electric microfilm readers.”

There are no plans to purchase more electric microfilm viewers as we feel the current balance between manual and electric is satisfactory. Indeed, the electric viewers often remain unused with readers preferring the more straightforward manual ones. However, if you feel strongly about this, please let us know or fill out a suggestions form in the reading room.

Even though 83.5% of visitors thought our opening hours were either good or very good, there were a number of requests for a late evening opening:

“Guildhall Library is a fantastic resource, it’s efficient and very friendly. Just wish it had late night openings (though the staff might not agree!)”

Opening late even one evening a week would have significant staffing implications, particularly as we already open every Saturday (except Bank Holiday Saturdays), and would have a knock-on effect on the other work of the library. It is not likely in the immediate future therefore, although it is obviously desirable.

Encouragingly, 34.3% of visitors thought no improvements were necessary, and there were some very positive comments:

“The Guildhall has an excellent archive service, usefully housed alongside the prints/maps & books collection. It is one of the most congenial places to research in London.”

“At the end of a long research week it was most gratifying to use the Guildhall facilities, especially the Manuscripts and to find from reception through library, security and manuscripts a most courteous, pleasant and helpful staff.”

“The archive and others like it (CLRO, LMA) provide tremendous service to historians – both professional historians like myself and family historians like the many, many people I see come and go during my days working here. I’ve been most pleased by the helpful, professional service offered by this library’s staff and most impressed with how generously helpful they are when dealing with visitors and inexperienced researchers.”

Thank you to those who took the trouble to wrote so effusively. Your comments are much appreciated.

CONSERVATION: Disaster management (or, thinking the unthinkable!)

Archives Assistant Claire Titley writes about a course she attended recently:

Most of you will be aware of the lengths we go to preserve our manuscripts for future readers. You may not have imagined that on occasion we can be found dreaming up disaster scenarios, envisioning all manner of fires, floods and other catastrophes which could affect the Library. But all of us work in buildings which are vulnerable to local events like a small electrical fire, larger events such as a natural disaster (seasonal flooding for example) or even once-in-a-lifetime incidents such as the Buncefield Oil Depot explosions in 2005.

Disaster management is an important element of an archive’s conservation strategy for it allows us to be fully prepared in the event of such incidents. A training session held at London Metropolitan Archives aimed to put our theoretical knowledge and our practical skills to the test.

The theory behind disaster planning is simple and is centred on the disaster plan itself, a working document that enables you to act quickly, efficiently and effectively in the aftermath of any incident. The training session began by getting us to think about our plans and how we would implement them, down to the nitty-gritty details of sourcing polythene, providing protective clothing, making space to dry out material and even how to keep your salvage crew motivated (regular cups of tea do the trick, apparently!).

Interestingly, we were encouraged to avoid relying on our plans and our trainer emphasised the need for flexible thinking and general preparedness across staff - as you never know who will be the first to make it back to the Library if the emergency call-out happens in the middle of the night.

We also spent time looking at the best ways to treat material that had been damaged. It is inevitable that material will be water damaged in the event of a flood or a fire. You might be surprised to know that books that have been in standing water can be rescued, but it is crucial that the right action is taken early on - if they cannot be dried quickly then mould growth is inevitable, which will do further damage.

Many conservators choose to freeze dry books and manuscripts (a process that is done by specialist companies such as Harwell in their warehouses) as this suspends the growth of mould until a time when the volumes can be cleaned and conserved. Recent examples can be found in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the USA, where freeze drying was the only viable method of dealing with the large quantities of wet documents that the hurricane created.

Different types of archival material require different types of treatment. Photographs and microfiches can be stabilised in buckets of deionised water (free from pollutants and particles) until they can be properly treated. Microfilms can be rinsed in deionised water and then unrolled and dried on a washing line. Books and manuscripts can be air dried or freeze dried depending on their condition and the materials they are made of.

In order to reinforce all the theory we had learned, a practical session followed in which we were given the task of entering a room in which there had been a water leak (a theoretical water leak, anyway!). We set to work and isolated the affected area with polythene sheeting, mopped up the excess water and then removed the wet archival material for salvage. This was a variety of (no longer wanted) books, papers, pamphlets, maps and photographs that had sat in waterlogged crates overnight.

Our job was to sort through them and decide what to do with each item. This was the difficult part and was slow work, as the fragile papers were especially vulnerable when wet, there were inks that had leached across unrelated documents and we didn’t want to damage things further by poor handling. We were given small amounts of material to work on and in an instant the meeting room was awash with polythene, washing lines and busy activity. The trainer talked to us individually about our methods and made useful suggestions about our course of action.

The experience was valuable, allowing us to appreciate the scale and the difficulty of such a salvage exercise and how to incorporate it into our disaster plans. This training day was a useful insight into the methods of disaster planning and salvage, and prompted as many questions as it answered.

The disaster planning techniques used by libraries and archives have wider applications and are used by other businesses and local authorities. If you are interested in disaster planning there are plenty of sources available on the internet: 

http://www.bl.uk/services/npo/disaster.html - A guide to disaster planning written by the British Library.

http://www.hdrs.co.uk/index.html - The home page of Harwell Document Recovery Services describes their work in more detail and includes some pictures of archives after fires, floods and explosions.

http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/bytopic/disasters/primer/waters.html - A primer to undertaking a salvage operation of paper products.

http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/news/state/16313181.htm - An article about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and freeze drying techniques which were used to conserve State archives.

more volumes OF THE iNDEX TO lloyd’s captains registers NOW AVAILABLE

Jonathan Burton, Archives Assistant, writes about the Manuscripts Section’s long-term project to index the “Captains Registers” of Lloyd’s of London:

Four more letters of the index to the Lloyd’s of London “Captains Registers” have recently been bound and put out in the Manuscripts Reading Room.  These cover those with surnames beginning with the letters D, E, N and O.  In addition, letters I, Q, U, V, Y and Z have recently been completed and are awaiting binding at a later date.  This means that indexes to the letters A, B, C, D, E, K, L, N and O are now in the reading room. Copies of the unbound indexes for the additional ‘small’ letters are kept at the Manuscripts Section’s enquiry desk.

The “Captains Registers” give details of the careers as captain and/or mate, on those vessels whose voyage details were transmitted to Lloyd's, of merchant sea captains who held British or British colonial master's certificates. The Guildhall Library information leaflet “Lloyd’s “Captains Registers” at Guildhall Library and related sources elsewhere” gives further details.

The index relates to Guildhall Library Ms 18567, which covers the years 1851-1911 only. Captains still active after that date will be found in Guildhall Library Mss 18568 (covering 1901-1948) or 18569 (covering 1885-1948), with some entries possibly to be found in Mss 18570 or 18571; these series are unindexed.  All the records are available on microfilm, although we normally produce the original volumes of Ms 18567 as the film is of poor quality.

The project to index the “Captains Registers” was instigated by a former Deputy Keeper of Manuscripts, Joan Bullock-Anderson, over 15 years ago.  The indexing has mainly been done by the Archives Assistants, at the moment, myself and Claire Titley (we are currently working on the letters P and F).  However, recently we have had help from two students who were with us for a week, a volunteer who has kindly offered to input the extracted information into Microsoft Word, and Joy Thomas, who works with us one day a week while she completes her MA in Archives and Records Management.  She is currently working on the letter M.

Although the captains are usually listed in rough alphabetical order in the original registers, the indexes make searching much simpler. There are 6 volumes for each letter between 1851 and 1911, each covering a few years only, and it is often difficult to predict which volume or volumes a particular captain will be in.  The indexes also indicate the extent of the voyages recorded for each captain. The indexes save damage to the documents, which are particularly bulky, as they lessen the need for them to be called up from the store.

Note: for those with an especial interest in maritime records, the 3rd edition of the Guide to the Lloyd's marine collection and related marine sources at Guildhall Library is now available from Guildhall Library Bookshop, price £4.95. You can buy it online at www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/corporation/shop.

THE CITY BOYS (AND GIRLS): PubliSHING Indexes to Livery Company Apprenticeship Records

Cliff Webb, editor of the series London Livery Company Apprenticeship Registers published by the Society of Genealogists, writes:

I have always been interested in records giving clues to the origins of Londoners. One of the perennial genealogical puzzles is finding where in the country an ancestor living in London came from, and, often, where younger children of parents went, primogeniture usually ensuring the eldest took any landholding.  The geographical and social origins of Londoners are also of considerable academic interest.

In the mid-1990s I realised that the records of the Livery Companies included a huge amount of information about these, but that it remained, for the most part, untapped and virtually unusable in unindexed series. 

Almost all the Companies had apprenticeship records in particular which gave details of the apprentice’s father and of his father’s parish and occupation, together with the name of the master to whom he had been apprenticed. 

A few Companies had had some or all of their early records printed.  For example, the Stationers’ Company has all its apprenticeship records to 1800 in print, while for the Shipwrights’ Company all the early records have been combined into one published alphabetical prosopography.  A few other Companies, the Paviors’ for example, had typescript calendars of their apprenticeships either at Guildhall Library, the Society of Genealogists or both. Many Companies also had contemporary indexes to their records, either in the volumes themselves or separately, but these were usually in the form of alphabets, rather than lexicographical, and were still not widely available.

The Society of Genealogists agreed to produce a series of indexes to previously unpublished apprenticeship records, under my editorship. I decided that the first priority should be apprenticeships prior to 1800, and just for those periods for which detailed records were available. I therefore omitted the many early records, especially accounts, where there are lists of apprentices and masters, but no details of the apprentices’ family origins. A format was adopted of an alphabetical list of apprenticeships with indexes to masters, places and trades and occupations. An introduction notes which records have been used in the compilation. To date, we have produced 44 volumes covering 52 Companies.  These are available on an open shelf in the Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section, most can still be purchased from the Society (some are out of print), and they are also all available electronically through the Origins pay-per-view site at www.britishorigins.com.

The Society has the text of the Butchers’ 1586-1800, Skinners’ 1498-1800 and the Turners’ 1604-1800 awaiting the funds to print.  I am working on a number of other Companies: the Grocers’, Salters’ (whose archive is not deposited at Guildhall Library) and the Weavers’, which is near completion.

It became clear during this decade of work that, for a number of Companies, the archive was fragmented in various ways. Some Companies, such as the Saddlers’, had lost much of their archive in the Second World War; others had late starts, long gaps etc.  The notion arose, therefore, of repeating the example of the Shipwrights, noted above, and putting together all records of members of a given Company into one dictionary-style list.  This format has been adopted first for the Salters’, as the archive is not as complete as some, and is not deposited. I am now ‘revisiting’ some of the smaller Companies indexed early in the series, and looking either to incorporate the apprenticeship lists in Dictionary form, and/or to extend the apprenticeship list by including periods for which there are lists of apprentices, but without the details.

In the course of my own doctoral work, I visited the undeposited Companies and was kindly allowed to make extracts of all the apprentices from a few chosen counties.  This has helped build an analysis, previously impossible, of the changes in the distribution of Londoners’ origins over time.

There has been a recent initiative by the Centre for Metropolitan History to discuss, especially with some of the larger Companies with undeposited records, how their records may be digitised and made more widely available.  The Guildhall Library will of course be involved corporately in these discussions, as will I in a personal capacity.

By leave of the editor, I will keep readers appraised of developments in this exciting field.

ARCHIVES ONLINE

1911 CENSUS RETURNS

 

The National Archives has just announced two services in advance of the official 2012 full release date of the 1911 census.

 

Starting in January, TNA will offer a limited research service, where the address of an individual in the 1911 Census is already known. There will be a non-refundable search charge of £45. This development has come as the result of a Freedom of Information request by a member of the public which has been upheld by the Information Commissioner.

 

TNA also hopes to offer a searchable online service in early 2009, although key sensitive information will be withheld until the full release date of 2012. A contract for digitising the Census is expected to be awarded in Spring this year. Over two kilometres of census records, containing the details of 35 million people living in England and Wales, will be digitised. This will provide an online service, across most fields of the census, enabling researchers anywhere in the world to search and download digital scans of images.

 

For more information go to www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/1911census. If you want to read the story from an alternative viewpoint, go to www.yourfamilytreemag.co.uk/page/yft?entry=view_the_1911_census_early

 

Meanwhile, you can search the earlier censuses online for free at www.ancestry.com (1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1891) and www.1901censusonline.com. However, if you wish to download images and information you will be charged a fee.

ANCESTORSONBOARD

Findmypast.com, in association with The National Archives, has recently launched ancestorsonboard, a new database featuring BT27 Outward Passenger Lists for long-distance voyages leaving the British Isles from 1960 right back to 1890 at www.ancestorsonboard.com. With ancestorsonboard, you can search for records of individuals or groups of people leaving for destinations including Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa and USA featuring ports such as Boston, Philadelphia and New York. Passengers include not only immigrants and emigrants, but also businessmen, diplomats and tourists. Images of the passenger lists are available to download, view, save and print. To view these records and original documents you will need to buy pay-per-view units from the findmypast.com website at www.findmypast.com.

COLLECTIONS LINK

Are you looking for advice on how to care for archives, seeking information on issues connected with their care such as copyright, or trying to find a relevant training course? Collections Link is a new online national collections management advisory service which may be able to help you.

A collaboration of more than 20 national professional groups, bodies and associations who are responsible for providing advice and support to museums, archives, libraries and other collections-holding organisations, the aim of the service is to provide a single point of access to best practice in the care and management of collections.

There are four main elements to Collections Link: an online library of best practice guides and factsheets; a telephone and email advisory service; a national database of training and skills development opportunities; and a commissioning fund to support the development of new resources.

Collections Link is managed by MDA (formerly the Museum Documentation Association) in partnership with the Institute of Conservation (ICON) and the National Preservation Office (NPO). The service is funded by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).

You can find out more at www.collectionslink.org.uk.

ANCESTORS MAGAZINE

The Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library is contributing a further series of articles about its records to Ancestors magazine. Just published is:

“A Peculiar Marriage” by Dr Stacey Gee about St Katharine by the Tower Marriage Licence Records, in issue 54, February 2007.

Already published are:

“Paying for St. Paul’s” by Matthew Payne, about the St Paul’s briefs, the late 17th century returns from parishes throughout England and Wales recording collections towards the rebuilding of St Paul’s Cathedral after the Great Fire, in issue 49, September 2006;

“Mysteries Unravelled” by Philippa Smith, about City of London livery company records, in issue 51, November 2006; and

Forthcoming articles are on (in no particular order):

Captains registers of Lloyd’s of London, by Dr Stacey Gee;

Bravery awards: records of awards made by Lloyd’s Patriotic Fund and the Society for the Protection of Life from Fire, by Matthew Payne; and

Business records for family historians, by Charlie Turpie;

Details of Ancestors magazine can be found at www.ancestorsmagazine.co.uk.

GUIDED TOURS OF GUILDHALL LIBRARY

If you are interested in finding out more about Guildhall Library as a whole, tours will take place on:

Wednesday 7 February 2007

Wednesday 4 April 2007

Wednesday 6 June 2007

Wednesday 1 August 2007

Wednesday 3 October 2007

Wednesday 5 December 2007

Each visit will start at 1.00 p.m. and will last for one hour. You will hear about the history of the Library, see the collections, and visit behind the scenes. Tours are free but you must book in advance by phoning 020 7332 1866 or e-mailing printed.books@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Electronic resources in Guildhall Library

Would you like to know more about our computer-based resources and receive help in using them? Practical sessions will take place on:

Wednesday 7 March 2007

Wednesday 2 May 2007

Each session will start at 1.00 p.m. and will last for one hour. Sessions are free but you must book in advance by phoning 020 7332 1866 or e-mailing printedbooks.guildhall@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Sources for family historians

You will be shown resources for tracing family history in the Printed Books Section, and then view a selection of original documents in the Manuscripts Section.

Tuesday 13 March 2007

Tuesday 8 May 2007

Tuesday 10 July 2007

Each visit will start at 1.00 p.m. and last for one hour. Tours are free but must be booked in advance by phoning 020 7332 1868/1870 or by emailing printedbooks.guildhall@cityoflondon.gov.uk .

FORTHCOMING EVENTS AT LONDON METROPOLITAN ARCHIVES

Among forthcoming events at London Metropolitan Archives are: Family History in Parish Records (Thursday 15 February 2.00-3.00pm); Writing the Wrongs – 50 Years of Black British Publishing (Saturday 17 February, 9.00 am-4.30 pm); London’s Medieval Legal Records (Wednesday 7 March 2.00-3.30pm); Winds of Change – women and slavery conference (Saturday 17 March 10.00am-4.30pm); School Records (Tuesday 13 March 2.00-3.00pm); Use LMA (Thursday 22 March 2.00-3.30pm); Non-conformist London and Londoners (Saturday 24 March 10.00am-4.30pm); and Exploring Prints and Drawings at LMA (Wednesday 28 March 2.00-3.00pm).

Details of these, and booking information, are at: http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/leisure_heritage/libraries_archives_museums_galleries/lma/newsflash.htm.

ARCHIVES FOR LONDON SEMINARS

Archives for London organises a number of events, including a series of free seminars held, usually, on the first Thursday of the month at 5.30 pm at London Metropolitan Archives. Forthcoming topics in 2007 are: Using Digital Cameras to Take Images of Archives, by Hugh Alexander, TNA (1 February); Charity Records (speaker to be confirmed) (1 March); and Hearth Tax Records in London, by Colin Thomas and Peter Guillery, English Heritage (5 April). These seminars are open to all, but advance booking is necessary – please contact Nicola Avery (email: nicola.avery@cityoflondon.gov.uk).

EXHIBITIONS:

LONDON BEFORE AND AFTER THE GREAT FIRE: ETCHINGS BY WENCESLAUS HOLLAR 1607-1677

Guildhall Library Print Room, 15 January – 12 May 2007. Free admission

A Czech émigré, born exactly four centuries ago, Hollar was a prolific artist of buildings and street scenes who also excelled at drawing maps, panoramas, portraits and costume. Over 40 of Hollar’s etchings will be on display at Guildhall Library, including his four large panoramas of Westminster, the City, Greenwich, and the ruins of the 1666 fire. Hollar’s ‘Great Map of London’ was sadly never completed, but the only surviving sheet, showing Covent Garden and the Strand, is an unrivalled example of a mid-17th century ‘map-view’ where every building is shown in bird’s-eye perspective. Hollar delighted in intricate detail as well as the big picture: close inspection of his London etchings reveals beggars in the streets of Bankside, archers in the fields of Clerkenwell and men clambering on to platforms to view a Tower Hill execution.

WILLIAM POWELL FRITH: PAINTING THE VICTORIAN AGE

Guildhall Art Gallery, 6 November 2006 - 4 March 2007

 

There is still time to see this exhibition. For more information go to http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/leisure_heritage/libraries_archives_museums_galleries/guildhall_art_gallery/exhibition/current_exhibitions.htm

 

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? LIVE

Following its unprecedented success, the hugely popular BBC TV series Who Do You Think You Are? is launching a national history show, giving more people than ever before the chance to learn about their heritage.

Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE will be held from 5-7 May 2007 at the National Hall,
Olympia and will incorporate the Society of Genealogist’s Family History Show to create the largest ever event of its kind.

You can find out more, register to be alerted when tickets go on sale and keep up with the latest news at www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com.

LONDON STREET MARKET TOURS

London Street Market Tours is an original conception of writer Sandra Shevey who recreates scenes from the London street markets in times past using psychodrama techniques. The walks are paced and lively, allowing you to place yourselves in the shoes of famous painters, writers and market traders who lived and worked in the London markets.

Tours run daily and are guided. 11.00am-12.30pm. £15. Advance booking (24 hours ahead) at sandra_shevey@yahoo.com.

WE WELCOME YOUR VIEWS!

Do you have any comments about this newsletter, about the Manuscripts Section itself or the records it holds? Do you have anything to contribute about your research, or experiences of working with archives that you would like to share? If so, please contact the editor, Philippa Smith, at philippa.smith@cityoflondon.gov.uk


Last updated January 2007

Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section