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.
Newton Flotman and Saxlingham Thorpe Heritage Group were established in 2018 as part of our church’s commitment to the legacy element of a Heritage Lottery Grant awarded in 2017 for repairs to the church. We started by producing a revised church leaflet, setting up a website and being trained to created short videos (published on YouTube!) about aspects of the church. A couple of us attended pre-lottery application meetings at the Archive Centre and were very pleased to be accepted in to the project when the finding was awarded. We always aimed to broaden our scope to the villages as a whole and the Community Archive Project has acted as a spur to equip us to do just that. We aim to meet monthly and plan to bring back our ‘memory events’ where we encourage village residents to come to reminisce and have the opportunity to record their memories. Again, we have received valuable training on this from the Project to improve our recording of oral history.
As a small group we kept in contact via outside meetings during the pandemic and managed a mix of online and face to face training with Robin! We have a very small collection, but we have put our archiving skills obtained through the project, to archive one of our founding member’s material. As a teacher in her day, Jean, I’m sure, would be very pleased to know that she had provided the resources to enable us to learn new skills! We acquired a filing cabinet and installed it in our church room lobby. Items are now filed away in folders provided through the project. Photographs of the items were made too (using the camera and computer purchased with our original HLF money). Our next task is some cross referencing and labelling of the photographs with the accession ‘code’ of their hard copy! We’ve learnt that the cataloguing and digitisation of materials should happen alongside each other so that we can ‘code’ as we go along! Along the way we have also produced two village calendars which have been well received.
Kirsten Remer www.nfasthg.com
If you wish to know more contact details for Newton Flotman and Saxlingham Thorpe Heritage Group (nfasthg.com) or available on their website.