Historic Derbyshire maps available online

With the new Derbyshire Heritage Mapping Portal you can now see how the Derwent Valley from Derby to Matlock has changed over the last 200 years.  Featuring selected maps from the collections at the record office, the portal enables free access to digital copies of the maps and an “overlay” feature so you can see the present and the past at the same time:

1811 estate map (ref: D769/B/11/3) of Kedleston Road, Derby laid over current Ordnance Survey map

Watch this video to discover what you can find on the portal:

 

Although there only a handful of maps are available at the moment (out of the thousands in the collections), we hope that we will be able to add many more to eventually cover the whole county – so something to look forward to for 2020 and beyond!

The biggest map in the collection is over 4.5 metres long and over 3 metres wide (ref: D1564/3)

The portal was made possible with funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England for the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Great Place Scheme, with the tremendous effort and support of Derbyshire County Council’s GIS Officer, the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Co-ordinator and several volunteers who helped to identify the maps for digitisation, and provide additional descriptive information for the online catalogue.

Thanks must also go to the creators and benefactors of the original maps, not only for their existence in the first place, but also for the detail and accuracy with which they surveyed the land and produced the maps – the success of the overlaid images is entirely credit to their incredible skills.

 

Derwent Valley Mills celebrations in Belper

This Saturday, 11 March, the Derwent Valley Mills celebrates fifteen years of recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Between 11 am and 4 pm there will be all kinds of events at the Strutts Centre in Belper, including children’s activities, guided walks, talks, and stalls from forty heritage organisations.  We’ll be there with our stall, giving advice on how to use original records for your research and how to look after the old family photographs, letters and books we all have tucked away in a drawer or a box somewhere.

Saturday

We hope to see you on Saturday!

 

Treasure 46: Register of child factory workers

This treasure comes from the Belper-based cotton spinning company W G and J Strutt Ltd and is a register of children dating from May 1853 to April 1860 (D6948/14/5).  Education was not made compulsory until 1880, so the use of children’s labour in the Strutt mills in Belper was very normal.

The register records the reference number of each child’s certificate of employment, the first day of employment or re-employment and when they worked in the morning or afternoon. A column notes when they change their group or leave – or come to the end of their thirteenth year and become classified as “young persons”.

More creativity at Belper Library as part of Discovery Days

As part of this year’s Discovery Days, children and parents came to Belper Library to re-create their family trees – find out about the last few days of events as part of the Discovery Days festival at www.derwentvalleymills.org/index.php/discovery-days/408-discovery-days-2013

Enlightenment! Derbyshire collections across the pond

Our colleague Anna Rhodes, Assistant Collections Officer at Buxton Museum, is currently undertaking a 4 week research fellowship at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut.   The fellowship was open to curators working in regional museums in the UK who work with British art collections, and as the successful candidate Anna has been looking at 18th and early 19th century topographical views of  Derbyshire, at amateur sketchbooks and travel journals.   This research will add context to the collections at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery and provide a better insight into artists and tourists that visited the County during the Enlightenment period.

Keep up to date with Anna’s work via the Enlightenment! project blog.

Enlightenment! is part of the Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Collecting Cultures’ initiative, and is a partnership between three museums: Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, Belper North Mill and Derby Museums and Art Gallery.

More delights from the Strutt Library

For obvious reasons, afficionados of our county’s history know a thing or two about mining.  This book, part of the Strutt Library, is by Georgius Agricola (1494-1555), the “father of mineralogy”, and goes into the subject in some considerable detail.  It is illustrated too, as you can see from these pictures:

[2018: Images of this book have been deleted to make room for future posts – however, the book is still available in the Strutt Library, and the text can be found online.]

The Strutt Library’s copy of “De Re Metallica” is not a first edition, however: it only dates back to 1657, when the text was published in Switzerland.

A Disney Production

Yesterday, we posted pictures of the Melland Library being readied for transport to an outstore.  Today is the turn of the Strutt Library, an extraordinary assemblage of books collected by the eponymous family of industrialists.  The library contains a great wealth of sources of interest for the study of Derbyshire history, and a great deal besides.  Take, for instance, this: John Disney’s 1729 description of the various legal codes dealing with unspeakable behaviour.