As you may know, we are beavering away at the job of getting all of the lists that describe our archive holdings into our online catalogue, so that people can find out about our collections from home. We still haven’t finished – but we have dealt with the most notable omission from the database, viz. the Harpur Crewe collection, D2375. The work, involving re-typing and re-formatting scanned copies of the paper list, has been done by volunteers for the National Trust, based at Calke Abbey. (I was left with the easy bit, which involved wrestling with spreadsheets and a database for a day or two.) We are immensely grateful to them for their perseverence and hard work.
To mark the occasion, here is a plan dating from 1829, showing a place in Ticknall called Scaddows. It’s now a fruit farm with its own website, http://www.scaddowsfarm.co.uk. Notice how the spelling has changed? We deal with this by using the original spelling in our descriptions, but the modern spelling in square brackets so that you can still search for it online. But if you aren’t sure how something is spelled, you can always use an asterisk as a wildcard. For instance, if you were searching for this map, you would start by going to http://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/recordoffice and clicking “our records”, then “catalogue”; you would put D2375* in the RefNo field, and Scad* in Anytext. After you hit Search, the database would pick out anything in collection D2375 that contained those four letters at the start of a word. Give it a try if you like. And if you, like those kind people at Calke, are handy with word-processing software and like the idea of helping to make Derbyshire’s history that bit more accessible, do consider joining the FindersKeepers project. It’s all about volunteering from home, which means you can do it in your own time. Have a look at http://www.recordoffice.wordpress.com/FindersKeepers if you are thinking of signing up.