The ‘Community Archives: Skills, Support & Sustainability’ project has been set up by the Norfolk Record Office with the aim of providing Norfolk’s community archive and local heritage groups with advice, training and resources to help them improve the management of their important and unique collections. Since 2020 the project team has worked closely with over 30 partner groups. During International Archives Week, we will showcase a selection of these groups and the progress they have made during the project.
‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ is an old adage, so a thousand pictures must be worth… a whole library? And that is about the number of photos the Mulbarton Heritage Group has collected over nearly 20 years, first for a now-defunct website, then for ‘The Book of Mulbarton’ and now many are displayed at https://www.mulbartonhistory.org.uk/ They are on CDs and a succession of laptops. There are duplicates and pictures of varying quality. There are notes about most, but not everyone depicted has been identified – and they are all randomly numbered.
The pandemic was the death-knell of the Heritage Group – unless others keen on local history decide to revive it. And should I or my laptop ‘bite the dust’ then those pictures could be lost for ever. So the Community Archives Project was timely – enabling us to learn a way to sort and organise our photo collection and give access to high-resolution copies to people world-wide. My somewhat random numbering system has been transformed into ‘accession numbers’ and the information in the notes on each photo has been transformed under headings that match other catalogue systems.
The project also brought us in contact with other local groups, and the shared information has added to our knowledge of Mulbarton’s past. As the older generation passes on, it seems even more important to find a home for their memories and photos – and important that that information should not just stay local but reach the world.
Jill Wright, Mulbarton Heritage Group
If you wish to know more contact details for Mulbarton Heritage Group are available on their website.