Would you like to help look after Derbyshire’s rich history? Through our Adopt a Piece of History scheme you can adopt any local studies or archives item (or even a whole archive collection), in the knowledge that your contribution will directly support our work to keep Derbyshire’s history safe for the future.
If you’re looking for a truly unique gift, why not let someone else adopt a piece of history? Whether they love sport, art, gardening or trains, there is something in our collections they would be proud to help look after too. And with different options and prices, this could be just the surprise you’ve been looking for.
Adopt a unique piece of history for £35
Choose your own favourite from our collections to make a truly personal gift. You might want to adopt the parish register that shows the marriage of two of your ancestors, a map of the area they grew up in or that document that made all the hours of searching worthwhile. Or go for a whole collection and adopt the records of a school, a parish council, Calke Abbey, our railway plans, the NUM archive … whichever of our collections you like best. If you can’t find what you are looking for, just email us for advice at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Become a part of Derbyshire’s history for £50
To celebrate a special occasion or commemorate a loved one, choose your own favourite from our collections and tell us why it’s important to you. The recipient’s name and adoption details will be entered into our official Register of Adopters and be kept as part of the archive for ever. Your adoption will also be visible on our online catalogue.
Adopt a Treasure for £20
Adopt one of our 50 Treasures and receive an e-certificate, personalised with the recipient’s name. The adopter will also receive a 50% discount should they wish to order a copy or photograph of one item they have adopted. Here are some examples:
Probably the oldest document in the archive, this nine hundred year old parchment deed describes the gift of a piece of land from Walter Ridware to Robert Messor. Written in Latin, it gives us a direct link to the people who lived here in the time of King Henry I, the son of William the Conqueror.
For food lovers everywhere there is this notebook, which has a delicious Bakewell Pudding recipe from 1837. But maybe you’d prefer to make Clara’s Cowslip Wine or Petty Shoes*? I wouldn’t recommend eating her ‘Cure for Dogs who are troubled with the Snort’ though!
(*also known as Petit Choux – did you guess?)
This plan from 1889 shows the proposed route of the brand new railway line to Mapperly Colliery. Are you enough of a train buff to know whether it was actually built as shown? The plan is one of a large collection of railway plans, so if you’re more interested in a different part of Derbyshire, consider our other adoption options and have a look at the Q/RP/2 series in our catalogue.
Wood engraver John R. Biggs made bold woodcuts, which are still striking today. His whole archive, including wood blocks and tools, is kept at DRO; which artist wouldn’t relish the chance to help preserve the precious tools of a kindred creative spirit?
For the family historian who has spent hours tracing their family history, searching diligently through baptism, marriage and death registers.
Would you rather adopt the parish register that mentions your ancestors? Then have a look at our £35 option or the £50 option.
In the age of sat-nav, it can be easy to forget that at one time, if you wanted a map of somewhere, you had to pay someone to work it all out and draw it for you. And if you were lucky, they included little pictures of trees, houses and animals as well. Of course we have hundreds of maps, covering many different areas; if you’d rather choose somewhere else, consider our other adoption options and have a look on our catalogue.
A rare glimpse into the world of medieval dancing, this dance teacher’s notebook from 1490 even includes the melodies the dances were performed to, giving twenty-first century dancers and musicians the chance to reach out to their medieval counterparts.
How much do you know about the canals surrounding Derby? Did they turn out as envisaged by this plan from 1792? We have many more plans of canals all over Derbyshire, so if you’d rather adopt your local one, consider our other adoption options and have a look at the Q/RP/1 series in our catalogue.
A must for all theatre lovers: this watercolour shows what Nick Bottom looked like in a late 18th century production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Not your favourite play? Have a look at our other adoption options and choose any one of the more than 300 theatrical drawings, political cartoons and social satires by this Derbyshire artist.
We tend to take it for granted, going for walks in the countryside. But if it hadn’t been for people like the members of the Clarion Ramblers – the first working man’s walking club in England – safeguarding public rights of way, we might now not be allowed to enjoy great swathes of the beautiful Derbyshire landscape.
Whether you admire her as the caring Lady with the Lamp or as the brilliant statistician and inventor of the pie chart, this is your chance to adopt a letter Florence wrote on 12 September 1877 while staying at Lea Hurst. She often wrote to the local doctor about the residents of Lea, and in this instance asks him whether he agrees a lady with rheumatism should be sent to Buxton.
The grandfather of Beatrix Potter was a fabric printer, who used to send her samples she would turn into clothes for her dolls. This magnificent shirt his company made in 1883 was meant to show off their printing skills and is still in superb condition.
To celebrate science and innovation, why not adopt the personal notebook of Bryan Donkin, the celebrated engineer who invented the tin can and developed paper making machines. A true genius of the Industrial Revolution, Donkin’s factories are still well-remembered in Chesterfield today.
Do you enjoy watching exciting sports action? Then you would have had a great time at this sporting bonanza that took place on Matlock Cricket Ground on 15 September 1894. For sixpence you would have seen ‘amateur gentlemen’ taking part in flat races, safety bicycle races and pony races. There was even an egg and spoon race – although that does seem to have been for school children rather than ‘gentlemen’!
Keen gardeners will appreciate the amount of work and dedication involved in maintaining the grounds of stately homes, such as those of Calke Abbey near Ticknall. This garden book from 1811 lists what each gardener was up to on each day and how much they were getting paid – there seems to have been an awful lot of digging and mowing going on!
For anyone who dreams of owning one, why not adopt this photograph from 1907, which shows four magnificent examples, including a Silver Ghost. At the wheel of the second vehicle from the left is Charles Stewart Rolls himself, the co-founder of the company.
To Adopt your piece of history, go to the order form.
Adopt a unique piece of history for £35
Choose any* item from our collections to make a truly personal gift. Find something relating to a specific place, person or hobby by searching the catalogue.
You will receive a personalised e-certificate, including a description of the item you’ve chosen. The adopter will also receive a 50% discount should they wish to order a copy or photograph of one item they have adopted.
*Some of our records are subject to Data Protection regulations and if you adopt one of these, you may not be able to see everything that’s in them – if the item you’re considering is less than 100 years old, feel free to contact us to find out whether any restrictions will apply.
To Adopt your unique piece of history, go to the order form.
Become a part of Derbyshire’s history for £50
To celebrate a special occasion or commemorate a loved one, choose any* item from our collections and tell us why it’s important to you (maximum 50 words).
The recipient’s name and adoption details will be entered into our official Register of Adopters and be kept as part of the archive for ever. Your adoption will also be visible on our online catalogue.
*Some of our records are subject to Data Protection regulations and
if you adopt one of these, you may not be able to see everything that’s in them – if the item you’re considering is less than 100 years old, feel free to contact us to find out whether any restrictions will apply.
As part of this package you will receive:
- A personalised e-certificate, including the details of the item you’ve chosen and the reason why.
- A personalised e-letter explaining how the adoption details have been added to our Register of Adopters and our online catalogue, making the Adopter a permanent part of Derbyshire’s history.
- A 50% discount should the recipient wish to order a copy or photograph of their adoptee.
Submission of this form sends an enquiry to the record office. The information you provide is controlled by Derbyshire County Council on a Public Task basis in accordance with the privacy notice for users of archive services.
What happens next?
Your order will be processed as soon as payment has been received. We aim to email:
- Adopt a piece of history certificates (£20.00) within 3 working days
- Adopt a unique piece of history certificates (£35.00) within 7 working days
- Become a part of Derbyshire’s history certificates and letters (£50.00) within 10 working days
If your order is urgent, please call us on 01629 538 347 to see whether we can accommodate a faster timescale.