COUNTY ADVISORY GROUP ON ARCHIVES AND LOCAL STUDIES (CAGALS)
(1) Agenda 11th October 2016
(2) MINUTES of a meeting of the Group held at 2.00 p.m. Tuesday 11 October 2016
(3) CAMBRIDGESHIRE ARCHIVES ACCESSIONS RECEIVED IN CALENDAR YEAR 2015
(4) Newsletter, Cambridgeshire Archives and Cambridgeshire Local Studies, November 2016, News from Cambridgeshire Archives, Huntingdonshire Archives and the Cambridgeshire Collection
There will be a meeting of the Group on Tuesday 11 October 2016 at 2.00 p.m. in Meeting Room 1, Huntingdon Library
1. Welcome to those attending
2. Membership of the Group: update on any changes in representation since the last meeting (current list attached)
3. Terms of Reference: proposed amendments (see Note 1 below)
4. Membership of the Group: application to join from Cambridgeshire Community Archives Network (letter of application attached)
5. Proposal to invite Chris Jakes to join the Group as an Interested Person
6. Apologies for absence
7. Minutes of the meeting of 9 November 2015 (below)
8. Matters arising from the Minutes, not otherwise on the agenda
9. Election of officers to serve until the first meeting of CAGALS in 2017
10. Cambridgeshire Archives (move to Ely) and Huntingdonshire Archives: report of Manager(to follow)
11. Cambridgeshire Archives accessions (to follow)
12. Huntingdonshire Archives accessions (to follow)
13. Local Studies report
13. Statistical report (to follow)
15. Any other business (by permission of the Chair)
16. Place, date and time of next meeting (The Terms of Reference require this to be held in April or May next year).
Tony Kirby 30 September 2016
Note 1: Terms of Reference of the Group
It is proposed to add a new Clause (4.5) to allow applications to join the Group from societies and organisations not already represented. The current Clause 4.5 thus becomes Clause 4.6.
The amendment of Clause 5.3 is to allow publication of the Group’s papers on the CALH website. Note that the confidentiality caveat still applies.
The proposed changes are italicised in the attachment.
(2) COUNTY ADVISORY GROUP ON ARCHIVES AND LOCAL STUDIES: MINUTES
MINUTES of a meeting of the Group held at 2.00 p.m. Tuesday 11 October 2016, in Meeting Room 1, Huntingdon Central Library.
Cllr P Ashcroft Cambridgeshire County Council
Cllr B Ashwood Cambridgeshire County Council
Cllr R Hall South Cambridgeshire District Council
Mr A Kirby Cambridgeshire Records Society (Secretary)
Mr M Lawence Wisbech & Fenland Museum
Ms J Liddell Huntingdonshire Local History Society
Ms G Shapland Cambridgeshire Family History Society
Mrs E Stazicker Diocese of Ely
Ms H Stroude Cambridge Antiquarian Society
Mr A Westwood-Bate Cambridgeshire Community Archives Network
Mr A Akeroyd Archives Manager
Ms C Clifford Local Studies Librarian
Ms J Terrell Acting Head of Service, Community and Cultural Services
Apologies for absence
Ms J Cox University of Cambridge
Mr M Farrar Interested Person (Vice-Chairman)
Mr P Jackson Huntingdonshire Family History Society
Dr S Lang Anglia Ruskin University
Cllr M Mason Cambridgeshire County Council
Mrs J Morris Cambridge Antiquarian Society
Mr M Williamson Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Association of
1 Welcome to those attending
TK welcomed members and explained that as the Cambridgeshire Association for Local History had decided at its last AGM not to appoint a representative to the Group pro tem, AW-B, not being a member of the Group, was ineligible to chair the meeting. MF, who would normally have taken over, was recovering from a serious illness in Addenbrooke’s. It was agreed that TK should chair until the Election of Officers (Agenda Item 9).
2 Membership of the Group
The current list of members was received
3 Terms of Reference
TK explained the reasoning behind the proposed changes.
4.5 The existing ToR made no provision for new members to apply to join the Group and the new clause was intended to remedy this. It was agreed that the wording should be further amended to read ‘… whose remit covers the whole of either or both of the historic counties’.
5.3 As the County Council were unable to host the Group’s papers, CALH had offered to do so.
5.4 The wording should be amended to read ‘…the representatives of the Archives and Library Services…’, to reflect recent organizational changes.
The revised Terms of Reference were agreed, nem com.
4 Membership of the Group: application from Cambridgeshire Community Archives Network.
At the Chair’s invitation, AW-B outlined the purposes and membership of CCAN, and its relationship to the County Council.
It was agreed that the Group should be accepted as a member.
5 Proposal to invite Chris Jakes to join the Group as an Interested Person
It was agreed that CJ’s expertise would be of great value to the Group and that the Chair would write asking him to join.
6 Apologies for absence
As noted above
7 Minutes of the meeting of 9 November 2015
These had been previously circulated. It was noted that under Item 4 ‘360 Degrees’ should read ’38 Degrees’.
Subject to this change, the Minutes were agreed and signed.
8 Matters arising from the Minutes
1: BA said that she had not received notice of the meeting , and she suspected the same might apply to other Councillors. The Chair apologized for what must have been an oversight on his part.
6: AA was still keen that an Archives Newsletter should be produced and would try to progress the idea.
9 Election of Officers
It was noted that the election would be for this meeting only; the next election would take place at the first meeting of 2017.
There being no other nominations, the following were agreed
Chair: Mr A Westwood Bate
Vice-Chair: Mr M Farrar
Secretary: Mr A Kirby
At this point, TK relinquished the Chair to AW-B
10 Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire Archives: report of Manager
AA took the meeting through the main points of his previously-circulated report.
Accommodation: Ely Project: it had become clear over the Summer that conversion of the building to meet the full requirements of PD5454 would cost considerably more than originally forecast. Three options had been put to the Highways and Infrastructure Committee, ranging from leaving the building in its present state to full implementation. BA reported that the Committee had, that morning, agreed that the necessary £860k to fulfil the original plans should be found and this would now go to the Assets and Infrastructure Committee for final approval. The money would come from a combination of revenue and borrowing.
Restructuring: staffing reductions meant that two Record Offices were now open for only 22.5 hours each per week, basically on alternative days, with both open on Wednesdays. Evening openings had been dropped, as they attracted very few users.
Local Studies had been transferred to Libraries, but would continue to work closely with Archives at ‘front line’ level, e.g. exhibitions and outreach.
In response to a question from ES, it was agreed that the collecting policy under the new arrangements should be on the Agenda of a future meeting.
Cromwell Museum: since May, this had been the responsibility of an independent Trust. It had received a donation from the County Council which would be enough to support the Trust for its first year of operation, but would then have to be self-supporting. All items in the Museum was the property of or on loan from the County Council: this would avoid any legal complications should the venture prove unsuccessful.
Projects: the Whitney Project, supported from the Goodliff Fund, had now ended. Not Just a Name on a Wall, promoting First World War resources to schools had received an Award from CALH. The Manorial Documents Register for Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire had gone on-line (TNA) in September. Dr Saunders would give a presentation to the Group on this at its next meeting.
Collections: the accessions backlog was nearly overcome
Digitalisation: discussions were continuing with a genealogical website to make Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire electoral registers on line, although a contract had been signed. Archives would receive royalties. The next stage would be parish registers.
Additional income was being received from undertaking digitalization for outside bodies.
CALM: the Archives manager was looking forward to the future when eventually some 500,000 items would be on the database; the target for 2017 was 417,000. There had been problems with the move to a new server, which were still not wholly resolved.
Outreach: staffing constraints meant that there had been a change in emphasis, to focus on those areas where a maximum return could be expected, particularly social media.
The Chair inquired whether a list of past displays produced by Cambridgeshire Archives was available. AA confirmed there was and it could be made available, although some of the display panels were now past their best.
Staffing: the 2016 reductions meant that a great deal of valuable knowledge and had been lost.
11 Cambridgeshire Archives Accessions in 2015
AA drew attention to some of the highlights, which included
R115/002: Records of Barrington Cement Works, including a valuable collection of photographs of the works and railway.
R115/014: Records of Cambridgeshire High School for Boys
R115/043: Records of the Cambridge Gay Group and its predecessors
R115/047: Records of St Mary the Virgin parish church, Fen Ditton, including registers from 1538 onwards
R115/074: Records of Papworth Hospital and associated enterprises.
The Chair added that the files of the late Tony Hartridge on parish churches were a valuable acquisition.
12 Huntingdonshire Archives: Accessions in 2015
Important deposits included
5777: Yaxley Parish Council and Manorial records
5779: Records of Ekins, Dilley & Handley, Huntingdon
5840: the County Surveyor’s photographic record of advertisements, 1949
13 Local Studies
CC reported that since the departure of Chris Jakes and Alison England (although both were continuing to help in a voluntary capacity) there had been a sharp learning curve for the remaining members of staff. The Cambridgeshire Collection continued to cater for groups of visiting students, and donations of material were still coming in. There had been a slight reduction in the number of inquiries recorded, due the reduced hours when Library staff were available. The accessions backlog was being tackled as quickly as possible. Repairs were being undertaken to a derailed library stack.
A positive feature of the recent changes had been the support received from the rest of Cambridge Central Library staff, who were now getting to know the Collection’s holdings.
TK had received a letter from Dr Sean Lang, Chair of the Cambridgeshire Collection Sub-committee of the Friends of Cambridge Central Library, regarding the role volunteers could play in the future, and would circulate this to members. CC explained that it was expensive and time-consuming to recruit and train regular volunteers: the proposal was for a group of people who would meet regularly to work on clearly-defined tasks.
AA reported that there had been little change in the Huntingdonshire figures, but a very noticeable decline at Cambridge. This would hopefully be reversed with the move to Ely, if the Huntingdonshire experience when Archives moved from Grammar School Walk was repeated.
ES regretted the loss of much valuable information from the Archives website, which had been especially useful to first-time users. This view was echoed by other members. AA and JT were active in stressing the need for improvement. In the meantime, it was suggested that some of the material might find a temporary home on a society/group website, such as CCAN. AA welcomed the suggestion, and would investigate the possibility.
15 Any Other Business
Wisbech & Fenland Museum: ML reported on recent changes in governance, the Museum having become a Trustee Company with six new Directors (of whom he was one) joining the existing five Trustees. The Museum faced the withdrawal of revenue funding from Fenland District Council over the next two years, although the Council had agreed to help the Museum explore access to alternative sources of funding. A public consultation had just ended, and a final decision would be made in November. The long-term future of the Museum was thus in doubt.
Members agreed that this was a worrying situation and that they should do all in their power to make the Museum and its holdings better-known. It was also agreed that the Museum should become a regular item on the Agenda at future meetings.
County Council Business Plan: BA reported that this had included a threat of a further £75,000 cut in Archives funding. Following that morning’s meeting, it was hoped that this had been averted. Had it been implemented, the county would have been approaching the point where TNA would decree it was not providing an adequate service, which paradoxically would mean that the Council would end up paying more for TNA to store its records than would be saved by making a £75,000 cut.
The Chair agreed to send the link for the Business Plan to TK, for circulation to members.
16 Date of next meeting
Tuesday 25 April, 2.00 p.m. Ely Library (subject to confirmation).
In conclusion, AW-B thanked members for attending, particularly Councillors and requested that AA, CC and JT pass on the Group’s thanks to all their staff for continuing to provide an excellent service in spite of the difficulties they were facing.
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 3.20 p.m.
(3) CAMBRIDGESHIRE ARCHIVES ACCESSIONS RECEIVED IN CALENDAR YEAR 2015
ACCESSIONS RECEIVED IN CALENDAR YEAR 2015
R115/001 Printed geological map of Cambridge (Offered to Cambridgeshire Collection)
R115/002 Records of Barrington Cement Works Barrington Cement Works (formerly
Eastwoods, later RMC/Cemex Works): minutes
1987-2004, staff registers 1944, c1947-91, long
service award papers 1968-2000, plans and
technical drawings c1946-60, engineering
operational files and tenders 1956-95,
correspondence and vouchers 1939-43,
news cuttings 1993-2000, administrative files
1980-2000; Social Club accounts 1969-86 and
papers 1979-86, 2013, collected pamphlets
and publications 1987-2014, photographs of
site and light railway including locomotives
R115/003 Records of International and Social Affairs
Christian Network, Cambridge
Minutes and agenda 1989-2013 1989-2013
R115/004 Records of Sturton Street Methodist Church,
Marriage register 1988-2007 1988-2007
R115/005 Records of Rich Soil Rich Heritage project
(Viva Arts and Community Group, Soham)
Oral history recordings with agreements
assigning copyright for 12 interviews collected
as part of Rich Soil Rich Heritage Project
January-August 2013, folder of publicity
R115/006 Record of Furnishings of Cheveley Church Record of furnishings of Cheveley church
compiled by NADFAS, Newmarket Group,
2013, 1 volume
(4) Newsletter Cambridgeshire Archives and Cambridgeshire Local Studies
November 2016, News from Cambridgeshire Archives, Huntingdonshire Archives and the Cambridgeshire Collection Ely archive centre.
Cambridgeshire County Council has been committed to finding a new home for the
Archives at Shire Hall for some time. In April 2016 a new site in Ely, near the railway
station, was acquired for conversion to a modern archive store, with new facilities for
researchers and visitors to the centre. The project is a complex one and after a
series of structural surveys and investigations a revised budget was proposed to the
Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee for its meeting on 11 October.
They supported spending the appropriate funds to deliver the project and this
decision was also agreed by the Assets and Investments Committee on 21 October.
This Committee also requested that a final site search should be carried out across
the county to ensure that the Ely project is the best possible value for money.
At this stage we are awaiting the results of this search and a revised building
schedule. We are expecting that the movement of records to the new centre will
necessitate the closure of the Shire Hall Record Office for a period of time, but we
will keep researchers and members of the public fully up to date with progress and
anticipated dates as they emerge. Please keep reading our newsletter and watching
our website (www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/archives) for further announcements.
Available minutes and supporting papers of County Council Committee meetings can
be found on the County Council website at
Recent archive accessions
The Archives have continued to collect new material through October 2016. Records
received since September have included a comprehensive collection from
Willingham Baptist Tabernacle, a collection of records of the Ellis family of
Cottenham and Swavesey, and a substantial deposit of Magistrates Court registers
formerly at Northamptonshire Record Office.
News from the Cambridgeshire Collection
Repair work to the rolling stack in the Cambridgeshire Collection store area has been
carried out. This involved emptying, packing and moving twelve bays of newspaper
volumes, glass negatives and books. Despite the disruption, the Cambridgeshire
Collection study area remained open for enquiries throughout. The work was
completed ahead of schedule, so we were able to resume normal service earlier
This photograph shows the store area while the work was being carried out, with the
new central rail in place.
The Collection has recently received a wonderful donation of photographs and
cuttings about the closure of the St Ives to Cambridge railway and the construction
and opening of the Guided Busway. This will make a useful addition to the modern
history of the county.
Following the retirement of Myles Greensmith from the Cambridgeshire Collection,
we are pleased to report that Mary Burgess has increased her hours, so we now
have one fulltime member of staff at the Collection.
This year’s Explore Your Archive campaign
Explore Your Archive runs from 19th - 27th November. This year we will be
highlighting the work, skills and experience of the CAS team by featuring a different
member of staff on Facebook each day, giving an insight into their role and hearing
what they’ve been up to.
News from Conservation
Recent important work has included re-casing a sequence of Children's Homes
registers and re-packaging of the former Isle of Ely County Council’s minute books.
Work on repairing maps and plans in the Archives’ care continues apace, including
flattening and re-backing two significant maps of the North Level.
Our in-house digitisation unit has digitised many documents recently, including
Longstowe enclosure map, 20th century photographs of Papworth Hospital, a 19th
century plan of Covington school and some court rolls of Cambridgeshire and
Huntingdonshire Manors. Here is part of a poster for people intending to be
emigrants, document HP34/23/2 at Huntingdonshire Archives.
Please contact our photographer Soo Martin if you have a digitisation request, on
01223 507200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow us on Facebook
We have recently launched a regular series of posts on the Cambridgeshire Libraries
Facebook page called ‘Throwback Thursday at Cambridgeshire Archives’. We post a
photo every week of bygone Cambridge and invite people to guess when and where
it was taken. The post has become quite popular and people regularly engage with it,
identifying even the trickiest locations! The post has provided a nice opportunity to
connect and interact with people who may not be able to visit the Archives in person.
News from a volunteer
We welcome anyone who is prepared to commit their time and efforts to working
alongside us. For this issue we have welcomed a contribution from Peter Jackson,
who has been volunteering on a Cambridge gaol project:
I started volunteering in archives after I retired aged 60. Having previously
researched my family history I found I have ancestors from the Cambridgeshire
village of Balsham; my 12xgreat grandmother died in 1588 leaving a very informative
will proved in the Ely Probate court. I learnt to read older handwriting in order to read
these wills, a C16th hand does take a bit of getting used to. Family history is made
much more interesting if it is more than just a list of names, if you know something
about what people owned, what they did, how they lived.
My ability at reading older documents made Jane Heward (now working at
Gloucestershire) ask for my assistance in cataloguing the records of the 100ft levels.
With Jane I worked on the records from the early period of fen drainage from 1650
onwards; since she left I have also worked on later records of people living in the
fens, the problems of maintaining the banks and stopping the and from flooding.
Then I went on to the Eden Lilley deeds based on the village of Eltisley and covering
several neighbouring manors. Then discharged prisoners from Cambridge Gaol, and
so on. Going back to where I started, I have not found much about my own family
from these more recent explorations, but it has all been interesting and put
Cambridgeshire life into context.
If you would like to volunteer please get in touch with us at one of the contact details
Cambridgeshire Archives: Box SH 1009, Shire Hall, Castle Hill, Cambridge CB3 0AP
Huntingdonshire Archives: Huntingdon Library and Archives, Princes Street,
Huntingdon PE29 3PA
Cambridgeshire Collection: Cambridge Central Library, 7 Lion Yard, Cambridge
Libraries contact telephone: 0345 045 5225