Alistair, from our Modern Records team, has been cataloguing a collection maps and plans about which we know remarkably little: only reference numbers for each document and the shelf on which it sits. Since resuming work on the premises, Alistair has described one-third of the 360-ish rolls. I’ll let him pick up the story from here:
An interesting task recently landed on my desk, the cataloguing of hundreds of old maps, charts and plans.
These maps/charts/plans are known as “Len’s List”. We are not sure who Len was but he’s understood to be a former employee of the County Council and probably worked at the Record Office.
The plans arrive from storage on to my desk. I need to carefully unwrap the plans, many are delicate and some need repairs by our conservator. I examine the maps (they are mostly maps) noting salient information including the title, scale of the map, size of the map and what it shows as well as noting any damage there may be. Often several maps come out of 1 parcel there can be as many as 30 or 40 but 5 or 6 would be more usual and some parcels have only the one map.
Most of the maps relate to Derbyshire and surrounding areas, others may cover the whole country and parts of Europe. A number of the parcels contain plans of buildings such as hospitals, police stations and other public buildings. Others show the development of railways, reservoirs and infrastructure.
One of the plans shows the Newdigate Arms public house in West Hallam which I recently visited. The plan still generally reflects the layout of the building today:
Why we have a plan of this public house is something of a mystery. [Perhaps it somehow became separated from the building approval plans in the Shardlow Rural District Council collection?]
Another plan shows an enlarged drawing of a World War 2 hand grenade:
Again why we hold this is a mystery although it is stored with some maps showing former Army Command areas:
Could these items have become separated from our civil defence records?
The task is not complete as many more maps/plans/charts need to be catalogued.
This may keep me busy for some time.