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Durham Archives set to move 900 years of history next year

CHANGES in the County Durham Archives will mark the start of a “new era” for the service, as it prepares to move to a new local history center early next year.

Beginning in January 2022, the research room at the County Durham Archives office will close briefly to the public to allow staff to begin packing the vast collection of documents for a move to a new state-of-the-art facility. technology.

Throughout the preparation, the public will not miss the service after it has been announced that access to expert advice and advice from archivists and service specialists will still be in place.

Read more: Photos: 12 photos of Durham from the archives

It will also continue to respond to public e-mail inquiries and process online inquiries, as well as deliver its education programs, online lectures and history courses, and digitization projects.

While some might think that moving an archive could be an easy task, it won’t be a straightforward process, with around six miles of records, which are currently stored at County Hall Headquarters in County Council Durham, due to be relocated. .

Although it took hundreds of years of history to be uprooted, it will not advance far. Early next year, the documents and all other artifacts from the archives will be moved to a new purpose-built building, which is part of the council’s history center project on the outskirts of Durham City.

The archives are six miles in length and feature detailed history and data of County Durham and the wider Northeast. Photo: DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL.

The development, which is slated to be open to visitors in 2023, includes the renovation of the 19th-century grade II-listed Mount Oswald mansion.

The project will bring together the council’s archives, heritage and registration services in one location, along with a café and exhibition space showcasing the lesser-told stories of county workers.

Cllr Richard Bell, Cabinet Member responsible for the Archives Office, said: “Our archives trace over 900 years of history in documents that span nearly six miles.

L'écho du Nord: an archivist prepares to put away items ready for his move in 2022. Photo: COUNCIL OF DURHAM COUNTY.An archivist is preparing to put away items ready for his move in 2022. Photo: DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL.

“While the move to the new history center is extremely exciting, it is also a huge undertaking that requires a lot of preparation to ensure that the new history center can open on time.

“Each item in our collection requires careful handling, specialized packaging and careful cataloging, which takes time.

“Restricting visitors to the research room, as we did during the Covid lockdown restrictions, will allow the team to prioritize their workload, focusing on packing for the move, for themselves. ensure that we are ready to welcome visitors to the new history center from 2023. ”

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