Melinda Haunton UK-CHORA 5 July 2011 County Committee to County Record Office  The role of the NRA in the emergence of a r...
The Legend of Colonel Malet: Archive Crusader  <ul><li>“ More than one county record  </li></ul><ul><li>office owes its or...
County Committees of the NRA <ul><li>The Register founded and funded  (1945-47) </li></ul><ul><li>First County Meetings </...
Post-war conditions <ul><li>High profile loss of archives </li></ul><ul><li>Devastation and exhaustion </li></ul><ul><li>L...
Post-war conditions “ We are simply overwhelmed just at present... implementing recent legislation such as the NHS act, Fi...
HMC8 and the County Committees HMC8/31 HMC8/54 “ I am anxious for as much discussion as possible as I particularly do not ...
What did the NRA think of the CROs? Impartiality... or otherwise <ul><li>“ He has aired his grievances at the Library Asso...
What did the NRA think of the CROs?  Regions vs counties “ The danger would be that one might lose the valuable asset of C...
What could the NRA do for the CROs? <ul><li>Financial support </li></ul><ul><li>A loudspeaker and a galvanising force </li...
What could the NRA do for the counties? Publicity and profile HMC8/31 HMC8/5 “ I find that a popular county Magnate, espec...
What could the NRA do for the counties? Expert, authoritative voice “ Unfortunately we do not in these parts possess Count...
What could the NRA do for the counties? Local archives, local collecting “ No doubt the BM would take the whole lot but I ...
What could the NRA do for the counties? Professionalism, campaigning, matchmaking  <ul><li>“ I am delighted to hear that y...
...But where were the conflicts?  <ul><li>Did the county services need the NRA as much as the NRA needed them? </li></ul><...
...But what could go wrong?  “ I feel bound to point out that the City Council of Exeter have gone to considerable expense...
HMC Warrant 1959: formalising the role <ul><li>“ ... We do Will and Ordain that Our said Commissioners shall make enquiry ...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

County committee to county record office?

401 views

Published on

Paper given at UK-Chora 5 July 2011 on the role of National Register of Archives in the formation of a record office network

Published in: Education
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
401
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
5
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
1
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

County committee to county record office?

  1. 2. Melinda Haunton UK-CHORA 5 July 2011 County Committee to County Record Office The role of the NRA in the emergence of a record office network
  2. 3. The Legend of Colonel Malet: Archive Crusader <ul><li>“ More than one county record </li></ul><ul><li>office owes its origin to Malet’s </li></ul><ul><li>missionary journeys and to the </li></ul><ul><li>local committees he was able </li></ul><ul><li>to establish.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Ellis, Manuscripts and Men , 1969) </li></ul><ul><li>Lt-Col G.E.G. Malet, OBE </li></ul>
  3. 4. County Committees of the NRA <ul><li>The Register founded and funded (1945-47) </li></ul><ul><li>First County Meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Finding a secretary </li></ul><ul><li>County committee and sub-commitee formation </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing contact with the NRA </li></ul><ul><li>Research and support from centre to locality, and vice versa </li></ul>HMC8/31
  4. 5. Post-war conditions <ul><li>High profile loss of archives </li></ul><ul><li>Devastation and exhaustion </li></ul><ul><li>Local lack of enthusiasm and capacity </li></ul>From www.bbc.co.uk , uncredited image INF13/148
  5. 6. Post-war conditions “ We are simply overwhelmed just at present... implementing recent legislation such as the NHS act, Fire Brigades Act, Town and County Planning Act – apart from the fact that we have not yet got things straight under the Education Act and the Police Act”. HMC8/33 October 1947 “ When the present Offices were erected, accommodation was provided in the basement… but owing to war time requirements one of which was that the County Council was worked from this basement… I have no room whatever for further storage accommodation.” HMC8/12 January 1946
  6. 7. HMC8 and the County Committees HMC8/31 HMC8/54 “ I am anxious for as much discussion as possible as I particularly do not want to try and impose a rigid organisation on the County…. any County kind enough to co-operate should have the type of organisation best suited to its local circumstances... it should be such as to secure the support and full co-operation of all the varied County authorities” HMC8/60 Malet July 1946
  7. 8. What did the NRA think of the CROs? Impartiality... or otherwise <ul><li>“ He has aired his grievances at the Library Association Council with the result that they have appointed a sub-committee to go into the whole question of the deposit of manuscripts...” </li></ul><ul><li>HMC8/61 January 1948 </li></ul>“ It would of course be an excellent thing were the County and City to combine in a general Record Office under a trained Archivist but this is not the affair of the Register.” HMC8/33 December 1949 I do not wish in any way even to appear to interfere with questions of the policy of the council but perhaps I might be allowed to point out that the... plan loses most of its advantages if there is not reasonable hope of a modern Record Office being available within the next few years.” HMC8/7 Malet February 1948 “ The directorate regards itself as a co-ordinating body. Thus all questions of local organisation and method are left to the free choice of the regions concerned” HC8/15 Malet March 1947 “ The objection to any public library is that Archives tend to be regarded as a secondary activity.” HMC8/60 Malet July 1946
  8. 9. What did the NRA think of the CROs? Regions vs counties “ The danger would be that one might lose the valuable asset of County patriotism, especially when dealing with local authorities, and also that there is so much to be done that large areas become unmanageable…” HMC8/58 October 1946 “ I would at present and speaking personally advise against the inclusion of Cornwall [with the Devon Committee] for several reasons… Its inhabitants have almost a national loyalty of their own county… the less important county, in this case (don’t repeat it) undoubtedly Cornwall, tends to stagnate… Truro, St Ives and Penzance are a very long way from Exeter… I think the area covered by both Counties together… would eventually produce too large a bulk of archives ... Experience has forced me to favour ‘shire’ schemes.” HMC8/19 Malet January 1948
  9. 10. What could the NRA do for the CROs? <ul><li>Financial support </li></ul><ul><li>A loudspeaker and a galvanising force </li></ul><ul><li>An expert voice </li></ul><ul><li>A spokesman for the profession </li></ul><ul><li>An advocate for the localities </li></ul><ul><li>A national expectation </li></ul><ul><li>A matchmaker – on certain conditions </li></ul>
  10. 11. What could the NRA do for the counties? Publicity and profile HMC8/31 HMC8/5 “ I find that a popular county Magnate, especially if he happens to be the Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum, usually proves to be an attraction and his official position covers the whole county” HMC8/19 Malet, April 1947 “ Dear Malet, I hope you were satisfied with Saturday’s meeting. For you personally it was quite a triumph, and there was no doubt that you held your audience from the word go.” HMC8/7 June 1947
  11. 12. What could the NRA do for the counties? Expert, authoritative voice “ Unfortunately we do not in these parts possess County Muniments Offices and therefore no one corresponding to the County Archivist of Kent. It might indeed be one of the functions of the committee to call attention to this serious gap.” HMC8/58 1948 I hope you will not think me interfering if I raise, unofficially, one point for your consideration. Archaeological and Record Societies throughout England are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the very large amount of estate records... which are being offered to them... I am speaking without any official contact with the AS but from some considerable experience of the difficulties common throughout England. In many counties the helping hand of the County Council has proved to be decisive in solving them.” HMC8/15 Malet February 1948
  12. 13. What could the NRA do for the counties? Local archives, local collecting “ No doubt the BM would take the whole lot but I do not see why they should have all the cream of England’s documents ” HMC8/1 Malet February 1948 “ He agreed that it was more than unlikely that the City Council would be willing to foot a bill large enough to cover the whole County. Because of this he agreed that the best long term solution would be a joint Count Council and City scheme…” HMC8/54 October 1949
  13. 14. What could the NRA do for the counties? Professionalism, campaigning, matchmaking <ul><li>“ I am delighted to hear that you will probably be having an archivist on your staff. Trained ones are difficult to secure but should you decide to appoint a youngster with a good background but no technical experience I think though I cannot bind the PRO that it would be possible to persuade the authorities here or at a County Muniment Room such as Essex to give him a really good technical course.” HMC8/19 Malet February 1947 </li></ul>“ It is most unfortunate that this profession [solicitors] which above all others should set an example in aiding this national scheme should be the one which appears to be jeopardising the project.” NRA Bulletin 1 (1948) “ Recognising the value of many of these documents…[the City Council] authorised the construction and equipment of two additional strong rooms in the City Library, appointed a document repairer and purchased photo-copying equipment and a micro-film reader.” NRA Bulletin 2 (1949)
  14. 15. ...But where were the conflicts? <ul><li>Did the county services need the NRA as much as the NRA needed them? </li></ul><ul><li>Centre versus locality? </li></ul><ul><li>A distraction from core work? </li></ul><ul><li>A clash of loyalties? </li></ul><ul><li>The “wrong” record office? </li></ul>
  15. 16. ...But what could go wrong? “ I feel bound to point out that the City Council of Exeter have gone to considerable expense to establish a suitable depository not only for the city archives but for county and private archives” HMC8/19 March 1948 “ I feel inclined to suggest that…. It should be offered to the County Council under the same conditions as those laid down by Lord Ailesbury... The conditions were that the County Council should appoint a properly trained Archivist whose first task should be to classify and calendar them and to superintend their repair...” HMC8/60 July 1946
  16. 17. HMC Warrant 1959: formalising the role <ul><li>“ ... We do Will and Ordain that Our said Commissioners shall make enquiry as to the existence and location of manuscripts, including records or archives of all kinds... Record particulars of such manuscripts and records in a National Register thereof; promote and assist the proper preservation and storage of such manuscripts and records ; assist those wishing to use such manuscripts or records for study or research... Promote the co-ordinated action of all professional and other bodies concerned with the preservation and use of such manuscripts and records...” </li></ul>

×