Have your say about our opening hours

New SearchroomIt’s hard not to be aware of the cuts being made to public services across the country.  Within the County Council,  Derbyshire’s Libraries & Heritage division, which includes the Record Office, has to make cuts of £290,000 this year.

In order to achieve this, there is a proposal to reduce the Record Office’s opening hours by closing a day a week and being open on fewer Saturdays.  Reducing our opening hours will help contribute up to £125,000 towards the division’s target.

We are carrying out a public consultation about reducing our opening hours, so if you use the Record Office, please help us by taking part.  You can do so by filling in our short online survey or by completing a paper questionnaire when you’re at the Record Office.  The consultation finishes on 6 November; please do take part and let us know what you think.

Celebrating cultural diversity

Yesterday I attended a fantastic event at County Hall (headquarters for Derbyshire County Council) here in Matlock.
The event – Celebrating Cultural Diversity – was co-hosted by Derbyshire County Council and Derbyshire’s black and minority ethnic (BME) communities.
Over 130 staff came along, joined by around 50 residents from Derbyshire’s BME communities.

I went along to represent the record office, taking a selection of records relating to black history which we hold in our collections. Records included evidence of black servants in Derbyshire houses, and lists of slaves on plantations in Barbados – the plantations being owned by the FitzHerbert family of Tissington Hall.

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Archives at the Abbey: 1 (un)stately home, 4 boxes, 8 hours, 600 visitors (well almost)

It was the busiest weekend I think we have ever had for staff from the record office, you have already heard about how we popped up at the Wirksworth Festival, which sounded amazing. I couldn’t make it along myself as I went along to Calke Abbey, home of the Harpur-Crewe family, with a small selection of original archives from their large collection (ref: D2375).

Oh my God! I can really touch it?! Oh my God!

It’s mouth watering stuff – are you putting up beds? I could stay all night. It’s wonderful

With over 580 visitors over just two afternoons, we were thrilled with how much people enjoyed handling the original material and amazed at some of the things they found out. Continue reading

Our Wonderful Weekend at Wirksworth Festival

As part of the Amazing Pop Up Archive team I wanted to share a few images of our wonderful event. It may have started off rainy and drizzly, but the people came and the sun shone (eventually). It was lovely to hear the stories and memories from the people of Wirksworth and the visitors to the Wirksworth Festival- you are now part of the living Archive ! Thank you to the Festival team, as ever the buzz in the town was fantastic and we were proud to be part of it.


Wondering and wandering in Wirksworth – we ‘popped up’ and how!

The Amazing Pop Up Archives Project did what it says on the tin and ‘popped up’ at this year’s Wirksworth Festival.

Our bunting clad tents graced the glorious setting of the rectory lawn (many thanks to the wonderful Reverend David Truby !) and played host to a multitude of activities on the Saturday and Sunday of the Trails weekend.


Derbyshire stories, poems and songs were brought by poet Matt and musician Julian; we ‘met’ Mrs Winchester, mother of a ladies maid at Chatsworth, through story teller Maria and a weaver’s treasure was hunted thanks to Debi. And that was just in one tent!

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