Tuesday, 19 July 2011

News - Council archives reopen (Sheffield)

A VAST collection of historic records and documents detailing Sheffield’s past is being moved back to the city archives building after a refurbishment project costing hundreds of thousands.

Work is underway to transfer 23,000 items from storage back to the building on Shoreham Street, which has been redecorated to improve light and reduce dust.

It has also had new air conditioning and boilers and replacement shelving.

The collection includes parish registers of births, marriages and deaths, plus nationally-important items such as Wentworth Woodhouse and Wharncliffe Estate records and writings by poet and philosopher Edward Carpenter.

The Shoreham Street building, which closed last year, reopens on Monday, September 5.

In a report to South Yorkshire Joint Committee on Archives, which oversees the facility, Martin Dutch, head of Sheffield Council’s libraries, archives and information, said: “The return of the archives will be a major undertaking. “Over 23,000 barcoded items will have to be transported to Sheffield and given an identifiable location in the strongroom.

“It is unlikely that all items will be in situ by the time of reopening, however, enough material will be back to offer good customer service.”

Only 60 per cent of the collection is being returned due to the need to keep space free for the estimated 700 new boxes of material received each year.

There is a limit to what can be stored there to adhere to preservation standards and regulations.

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