Books – from Breweries to Mountain Biking

Currently on display in our Local Studies library is a varied selection of newly acquired books, ranging from Heritage Walks, to an amazing story about a 'ghost runner' to a history of Burton breweries! A full list and details are below: Edwin Smith: A Life in Derbyshire Cricket by Steve Dolman Edwin Smith played for Derbyshire in three … Continue reading Books – from Breweries to Mountain Biking

February is LGBT History Month!

It has Valentine's Day, Chinese New Year & Shrove Tuesday, to name a few events, but February is also LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) History Month. It aims to promote equality and diversity by making LGBT stories more visible to the public, and campaigning for greater awareness through education. It is always a challenge to find positive accounts about the LGBT experience in history, as so … Continue reading February is LGBT History Month!

To keep or not to keep – that is the question

One of the key professional responsibilities of the archivist is to decide which records to select for permanent preservation and which to dispose of. In fact, you could argue that the role of the archivist is not one of preservation but of “destruction” (though I’m not sure we would quite argue that). Here at Derbyshire Record … Continue reading To keep or not to keep – that is the question

Travelling Scots in Chesterfield

This is the second article I have re-blogged today! But why not? I’m sure I won’t be the only one to be fascinated by Celia’s piece about Scottish traders


Back in 2011 and 2012, I posted three articles about ‘Scotch Chapmen’ who settled in the 17th century lace centre of Newport Pagnell, Bucks. Despite knowing that these merchants and dealers travelled throughout England, it came as a surprise to find in an 1872 Trade Directory for my adopted town of Chesterfield this list of Travelling Drapers (grouped separately from Drapers who were clearly non-travelling):

BELL James, 30 Spencer Street
BROWN David, Lordsmill Street
FINDLEY David, 23 & 25 St Mary’s Gate
McKAY Benjamin, 13 Holywell Street
McLACHLAN Hugh, 19 Knifesmithgate
McNAE William, 77 Saltergate
MILLIGAN George, 11 Eyre Street
MULLARKY James, 66 Soresby Street

My immediate thought: those are all Scottish names! Yesterday, I looked for them in the Chesterfield 1871 and 1881 census and found vindication – every one in the list except James MULLARKY was born in Scotland (and he was born in Ireland). I even…

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New look Nottingham Archives

For your interest… Here’s a review, largely positive, of the newly-revamped Nottinghamshire Archives.


Last week I made my first visit to the revamped Nottinghamshire Archives.  Finished last spring with new storage added they took the opportunity to refurbish the public areas.

As you can see they are now bright and airy and everything has been moved around.  The reception desk is still the first thing you see when you walk in, the lockers (although now disguised as a wall with images on each locker), loos and break area are still in the same place but the Library area now contains the card indexes, microfilms and paper catalogues in its own discrete area.

The Library area

This is a good idea but I do have a few moans about it.  I really liked the old card indexes in their wooden drawers which could be removed so that you could sit down at a table and not have to write and stand at a weird…

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