Monday, 26 March 2012

We've finished the first phase of our move

We have now finished moving all of the archive collections out of our County Hall branch that were due to come straight to The Hive. There are still a few things left to be collected by the specialist document treatment company we are using, but for now our hard-working removal company have completed the first phase of our move.

The archaeology team, which now makes up part of the joint Archive and Archaeology Service, also moved into The Hive last week. We are still getting to know our new neighbours and we all hope to learn lots about the service they provide so that we can provide our customers with any advice they may need in the future. The final stage in our move is for our History Centre branch to join us. They will be coming along after the History Centre closes on 21st April.

The last photograph taken at County Hall branch, showing Angie amongst our empty shelves.

Now that the hard work of the physical move is over, we are busy working to make sure the strongrooms are all in order ready to restart our enquiry service. During the move there were a number of occasions where the boxes didn't quite fit on the shelves they were supposed to, so they had to be put somewhere else last minute. This means that we now have an awful lot of checking to do to make sure we know exactly where each box is. Everyday, we have members of staff in the strongrooms with a printout of our shelf location database, checking off each item on each shelf. Once this is complete we are updating our electronic database with the new location. This may sound like a laborious process, but once we reopen to the public this will be a vital tool that we can use when people order documents - it means we can go straight to the correct shelf to find it, rather than wandering round helpless!

We have a lot more work to do before we open too, including finishing off the updates to our newly merged finding aids; producing guides to our new searchroom; updating our website to reflect our new, joint service; training staff to use the new building and establishing new rotas to ensure we can provide the best service to you all when we reopen.

Soon, we will bring you some more behind-the-scenes photographs of our areas within The Hive. We are also planning to film a video tour of the archive stores and new searchroom. We are keen to know what you would like to see on the blog too. If you have any ideas for future posts, or any questions you would like us to address, please leave us a message in the comments section here and we will do our best to answer it.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Beyond the City Wall

The Heritage Lottery Funded project work on the Worcester City Archives is now coming to an end and to celebrate Justin Hughes and Beth Roper, Outreach Workers have been working on an opening exhibition for the studio space in the Hive, called 'Beyond the City Wall'.

The exhibition will chart the history of the ground on which the Hive stands: from the Romans to the present day, as discovered through archaeological finds, archive material and oral history accounts.  We have been working with interpretation designers, InHeritage to produce a multi-media exhibition, a children's trail and activities which we hope will attract a broad audience to the building and encourage further research on the History Floor. 

As the three and a half year Worcester Archive Source Project (WASP) draws to a close, we are spending some time making contact with people from all over Worcester who have been involved in community celebrations with us, with volunteering or have given very insightful and charming oral history accounts.  We are looking forward to welcoming them to special exhibition open days in the summer.  If you have been involved with WASP, you may well be hearing from us soon!

We are also reviewing work carried out by graphic design students at the University of Worcester, which explores a description of the medieval city boundary in 1497.  The document is part of the Worcester City Collection, and is bound in a volume of 'ordinances', or local laws for the city.  The document is a 'perambulation' of the city boundary and describes the scene at the limits of the city. It's like a real window on the past!  It has provided inspiration for graphic design work by the students (who loved getting their creative minds around it!), plus inspiration for a historic walk around the old city bounds – an event open to all with reasonable fitness levels and decent footwear!   It was very inspiring to work with the University and see how three talented young people made sense of the archive material and turned it into art.

As these events are planned and the exhibition is coming together, we are very excited to see lots of people there; please come and see us!
Beth & Justin

Event details:
Beyond the City Wall – The Hive gives up the clues to its past
The Studio, The Hive, Sawmill Lane (you'll see why it's called that!)
From July 2012
·         Archive & archaeology exhibition
·         Children's activities
·         Audio – visual display

Medieval Worcester – walking the city boundary
Wednesday 28th March
·         Discover some of the tales of medieval Worcester, as described in the archive
·         10am
·         2pm
·         Please book a place by calling Discover History on 07949222137, or email:"

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A video tour of Worcestershire History Centre

Our History Centre branch will close for the final time on 21st April in order that staff and the sources there be moved to join us at The Hive. Here is a little video tour to tell you more about what is held there that you will soon be able to use at The Hive, and to have one last look at it before it goes:


Don't forget there is still time to submit your memories of the History Centre for our final exhibition.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

History Centre Memories Exhibition

Here at the History Centre we are preparing for our move to The Hive at the end of April. We will be closing to the public for the final time on Saturday 21st of April and to mark this occasion, we are putting together an exhibition of memories of the History Centre. We are asking people to tell us what it has meant to them over the years:

·         Have you discovered something special about your family tree?
·         Have you learnt something new?
·         Have you achieved something you are proud of?

You can fill in a form in the searchroom, or send us an email to

We are collecting memories throughout March, and will be displaying them in our searchroom as well as online, during April.

We would love to hear from you if you have any memories you would like to share, so get in touch soon!

Our new searchroom is starting to take shape

All of the contents of our searchroom at the County Hall branch have now moved and are being shelved in their new locations at The Hive. We are starting to see the searchroom taking shape and are a step closer to being ready to welcome our first customers in the summer.  

Here are some before and after photographs of the move:


The library books being removed at County Hall

Our General Index being removed - the removal men were instructed to be very careful with them!


Our General Index in its new location at The Hive.

The Index is now located opposite our new desk and there is a table for people to sit at whilst searching through it

Our Draft Guide is now in place too. This will be relabelled before we open so that it is easy to find the collection you are looking for.

Our History Centre branch will be joining us at The Hive in April, so we will have a lot more finding aids to add to the shelves then. We will be working to merge all of these so that we have one, up-to-date and easy to use set.