BERKSHIRE Record Office is celebrating after great results from a UK wide satisfaction survey, with 97% of respondents scoring the service as very good/good.
Berkshire Record Office (BRO) came out top for distance customer satisfaction in the majority of its ratings of archive services, when compared to several nearby areas including Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Oxfordshire and Surrey.
A total 51 offices across the UK took part, with the Berkshire Record Office ranking 8th overall.
Many people from across the UK and internationally contact the office, in particular for family history searches. Respondents to the survey came from as far afield as USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Some of the more unusual requests received by the office include research into how electricity was first supplied to homes in Reading.
The Record Office, located in Reading, is the custodian of local archives from across the Royal County and will shortly celebrate its 70th birthday in August 2018.
The office’s collections are kept in secure storage and can be accessed by anyone wanting to use them for research.
The collections span ten centuries of Berkshire’s history and contain many nationally significant items, including the archives of Reading Prison and Broadmoor Hospital.
Cllr Sarah Hacker, Reading Council’s Lead Member for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said: “I’m delighted Berkshire Record Office, which carries out such an important role for the county’s heritage, has scored so highly for its distance customer satisfaction – it is testament to the hard work of all the record office staff.
“Many users are reliant on distance services. For people too far away to visit the archives or for people with a disability that makes access in person difficult, this service is essential.”
Mark Stevens, County Archivist, said: “We know lots of people prefer to contact us by email or phone, so it’s great to know that they find us helpful when they do so. I’m very proud of the staff and would like to thank them all for providing such an excellent experience for customers.”
Notes for editors
2017 CIPFA Distance Survey
In 2017 CIPFA Research conducted a survey of distance users of UK Archive Services and a total of 51 offices took part. The distance survey was undertaken between 2nd and 17th October 2017. 93 requests were sent to people contacting the office by email; 56 responses were received giving a response rate of 60%.
· 97% think the service overall is very good/good
· 99% think the quality of content is very good/good
· 99% think that the clarity of response is very good/good
· 93% think that the promptness of response is very good/good
· 76% think that charges for goods and services is very good/good
· 84% think that the ease of navigation to (the archive’s) website is very good/good
· 89% think that (the archive’s) website is very good/good
Berkshire Record Office
Berkshire Record Office is the joint archives service for the six Berkshire councils. It looks after historic collections from public authorities and private bodies from across the county, dating from the 12th century to the present day. Items from the collections can be consulted for free during opening hours, Tuesday-Friday.
The Record Office is always happy to add historic documents and photographs to its collections. Anyone with relevant material is invited to contact: Berkshire Record Office, 9 Coley Avenue, Reading RG1 6AF.
Tel: 0118 937 5132