One of our key partners in this project is the Essex Record Office who are helping us with advice, research and training.
The ERO holds archives that take up nearly eight miles of shelves and the items they care for include parish registers, diaries, letters, court records, wartime records, manorial records and school records. It’s also home to the Essex Sound and Video Archive.
To mark 100 years since the Representation of the People Act the ERO blog has celebrated Essex women such as suffrage campaigners, WWI Nurse Kate Luard and Matron of Black Notley Hospital Mary Ellen Ruck.
Other challenges ask people to look for stories of women working in engineering at different companies such as Ford, Paxman, Bentalls and Marconi and the ERO holds many different company newsletters which could be a great starting point for this.
If you have never visited a Record Office before it may feel a bit daunting but staff are there to help and you can find a useful guide here.
The Record Office looks after unique, irreplaceable historic material so there are a few key things to remember as these are all to minimise the risk of damage.
It is worth being aware before you visit that they ask-
- Please bring as little as possible into the Searchroom
- store your bags in the locker room (free to use and located next to the Searchroom)
- Please use a pencil rather than a pen
- You can use laptops and tablets, but cases must be left in the locker room
- They provide transparent wallets for holding notes and small items
It’s a good idea to bring a warm layer to wear as the searchroom is kept cool (22°C) to help preserve documents (a good place to visit in a heatwave!)
If you’d like a tour of the searchroom there is one coming up on May 30th and you can book here
Just be warned- Record Offices are full of fascinating documents- I’ve lost hours in them!