Repository Bingo, Part 2

A reblog this week – am furiously trying to finalise my papers for the big Statesmen and Seapower conference at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth this week (probably the subject of next week’s blog), and for the Naval Dockyards Society conference at the National Maritime Museum the following Saturday. This is the ‘sequel’ to the post on national repositories that I reblogged a few weeks back; the only update it requires is to acknowledge the British Library’s belated but very welcome relaxation of its ‘no photography’ policy. Today the BL, tomorrow (hopefully? maybe?) Blandshire County Record Office and all those other institutions that refuse to acknowledge the existence of the twenty-first century.

J D Davies

Last week’s first part of this thread got a big response and clearly struck some chords with people. I wrote then that I intended to use this week’s post to provide my ‘top five’ of UK non-national repositories, i.e. county record offices and the like; at the last count, I think I’ve now visited over forty of them. But as I mulled it over, I realised that I no longer had a top five. (Apologies in advance: grumpy old man / ‘things ain’t what they used to be’ rant follows.) During the early years of my research, several record offices were in stunning locations. For example, Carlisle, Lincoln and Haverfordwest were in castles – to be exact, old gaols within castles – while Worcester was in a converted medieval church. But over the years, more and more archives have decamped to purpose-built new buildings, most of which resemble soulless sheds…

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