We are very pleased to be able to soon be having our school admission registers and log books digitised as part in a national project which will ultimately make the digital versions available via the Find My Past website.
The project, organised by the Archives and Records Association on behalf of archive and record offices across the country, is specifically looking at school records from 1914 and earlier, and will continue over a ten-year period. We are quite fortunate that the school records here at Derbyshire will be amongst the first to be digitised.
To make the records available electronically does mean sending them away to be digitised. Therefore, all the Derbyshire school log books and admission registers containing entries dated up to and including 1914 will be unavailable between 25 July and 31 October 2014.
There are over 1050 log books and admission registers covering the period up to and including 1914, so this project is no small task. Our staff have already spent much time collating information about the records held, measuring selected volumes, and are now identifying the records in their usual storage locations in order to re-box ready for collection and digitisation.
If you have come across log books and admission registers before, you will know they are often quite special records. Log books these are the Headteacher’s record of daily activities, while as the name suggests, admission registers record a pupil’s date of entry and departure, sometimes including reason for leaving, age and date of birth, name and address of parent/guardian. Due the personal information in the records, volumes with information in that is less than 100 years old are not generally available for consultation in our search room. Hence the reason the digitisation project only includes records up to and including 1914.
Personally, log books are amongst my most favourite records in the collections here at the Record Office. Many of the books give such a fascinating account not only of life at the school, but also life in the town/village (great snows, harvest festivals and other local events, flu epidemics), subjects and topics being learned, not to mention the impact of national and international events on local people.
Selected extracts from Log Books and Admission Registers of Spondon and Creswell Schools