County Archives Welcomes its 10,000th Collection

Record Office

BERKSHIRE Record Office is celebrating after receiving the 10,000th collection into its archives.

The Record Office, located in Reading, is the custodian of local archives from across the Royal County and has been collecting records for the last 69 years.  The collections span ten centuries of Berkshire’s history.

A village church has handed over the collection received by the record office, located in Reading.

The 10,000th collection comes from the parish church of St Andrew’s in Shrivenham, near Swindon – part of the historic county of Berkshire which included towns like Abingdon and Wantage.  The oldest item within it was a Victorian marriage register dating from 1813.

Lucy Laird, a Shrivenham resident and church member, said: “It is very reassuring to know that our irreplaceable historic records are now stored safely at the record office.”

The office’s collections are kept in secure storage and can be accessed by anyone wanting to use them for research.  Some of the more notable collections include the archives of Reading Prison and Broadmoor Hospital.

Cllr Paul Gittings, Reading Council’s Lead Member for Culture, said: “I’m delighted Berkshire Record Office, which carries out such an important role for the county’s heritage, has reached this momentous milestone.

“I hope this news encourages other individuals, groups and organisations to approach the office with their collections, so they can be preserved for the benefit of future generations.”

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

Email: arch@reading.gov.uk

www.berkshirerecordoffice.org.uk

Other recent collections include a letter from the American Red Cross in the Second World War with instructions to Reading girls for how to behave at dances and a lease for land in Bray dated 1742.

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Notes for editors

Photo available on request: Photo shows Lucy Laird from St Andrew’s church handing a church register to County Archivist Mark Stevens.

Parish registers like the one from Shrivenham are invaluable sources for family historians.  For example, the Shrivenham registers record the marriage of Edward Cavey and Hannah Wicks on 6 April 1814 and the baptism of their three children.  The burial register notes that their second child died aged only seven days and that Hannah died at 41 and Edward, who was the village butcher, at 50.