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.

bme-event-2

Chesterfield burial register for 1801 records the burial, on July 22, of “Mercury Mallows, a black man, servant to Josiah Jebb”, who was a local landowner. D643 A/PI 1/7

As part of the event taster activities were on offer, including yoga, tai chi and Chinese calligraphy, and there were cultural nibbles for people to sample. There was also a rolling presentation demonstrating some of the important work that Derbyshire’s BME organisations are involved in.

The event provided us with the opportunity to speak to BME community members about the work of the record office and the services we can offer them.
As the record office for the county of Derbyshire it is very important for us to represent all communities within the county. We are actively seeking to collect the records of individuals, groups and organisations from those communities which make up this wonderfully diverse county. Groups can be sure that their records will be permanently retained for future generations to access.
But what if groups do not wish to deposit their records with us? It’s true that some groups may wish to retain their records, and if that’s the case, we can provide training and guidance on how they can best look after and organise their records in situ.
What is most important for us all is that evidence of the great work which such individuals and groups make to their community and Derbyshire as a whole is not lost.
Member of a BME group and interested in the services of Derbyshire Record Office? Contact us on 01629 538347 or email us at record.office@Derbyshire.gov.uk

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