Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Top 10 Archives... No.4

Number four in our Top 10 most accessed collection is the Worcester City collection, which has recently been catalogued thanks to a Heritage Lottery Funded project.


The archives of the City Corporation (now the Council) stretch from the fourteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century. At almost 1,500 boxes, volumes and rolled maps, it is one of the Record Office's largest collections. It is difficult to do it justice in a few short paragraphs, but the three largest and most complete series of records are the Chamber Order books (from 1540), Quarter Sessions records (from 1710) and deeds (from c.1300, although survival of very early documents  is rather haphazard).  

Elizabeth (Outreach worker) and Kathryn (Project Archivist); members of the HLF funded project team

 
The archive reflects the role the Corporation played in everyday life in Worcester, from recognisance books, freemen lists, rate books, frankpledge, court books, copies of charters, acts and by-laws, elections, charities, markets, poor law, education, gas and electricity supply, public health, railways, Pitchcroft, militia, the Worcester bridge, turnpikes, the canal, the River Severn, civil defence and motor vehicle registration.

Freeman's Certificate from the Worcester City collection

With such a breadth of subject material, the archive has proved popular with authors, local historians, genealogists and the Archaeology Department. Recently, it was used by members of the public to research the history of the Butts, where the Hive now stands.

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