The Bagshawe collection is a large and very significant archive, largely comprising north Derbyshire deeds. It has been publicly available since the 1950s, when it was acquired by the then Sheffield Central Library but we have only had it since Sheffield Archives kindly passed it on to us in 2013. As it’s relatively new to those of us who work here, we are still getting used to it – but many of our users are very familiar with the collection, having used it at Sheffield. If that applies to you, don’t worry about needing to find out new reference numbers, as we have maintained the original ones, which all begin with “BagC”. They are now preceded by D7676, on the catalogue, as this is the reference under which we accessioned the collection, although we don’t plan to write D7676 on every document, and if you forget to write it on your order slip, we will very probably know which collection you mean!
So, where do these numbers come from? The Bagshawe collection was painstakingly calendared in Sheffield in the 1950s/1960s, and the fruits of this labour were made universally available around the turn of the millennium, upon the launch of the Access to Archives website, a2a. That site has recently been superseded by the National Archives’ Discovery Catalogue. We have now managed to get the same descriptive data into our own online catalogue. It took a little while – the trouble was getting the “import profiles” to match up, but our colleagues at Kew were very helpful in working out what was going wrong.
The a2a data does not include absolutely everything from the original calendars, though. According to the introduction, “The entries for the deeds in this catalogue are reduced from a fuller catalogue … cutting down the original catalogue entries presented some difficulty, particularly in the case of the early deeds. It was decided to give fairly fully the subject matter including field names, of each of the earlier deeds, and omit the witnesses. It is regretted that it was not possible to include both within the scope of this catalogue”.
However, if you do want to see the original calendars produced in Sheffield, you can do so. I have added them to the archive itself, with references D7676/BagC/CAL/1-3. There may once have been another volume, as the volumes we have only cover its 780 onwards. Here is what they look like:
You will notice that two of the spines are marked Derbyshire Deeds 4 and 6. I am not sure what that was about, but it is presumably to do with the fact that there were other collections of Derbyshire deeds held at Sheffield at the time, many of which are now with us. Let’s compare a random entry in the calendar…
… with one from our catalogue:
Thanks again to our colleagues at the National Archives for their help.