Dragon Hall Archive Project Internship

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.

The exterior of Dragon Hall photographed in 1935, when it was known as The Old Barge Inn

Hello everyone! My name is Sally and I am currently finishing my third year at UEA studying English Literature with Creative Writing. In September 2022, I will be beginning the UEA MA Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies course, which has led me to seek out work experience opportunities within the heritage sector. In the beginning of May, I was lucky enough to begin an internship project organised by the Dragon Hall Heritage Volunteers and the Norfolk Record Office, and I am looking forward to learning more about the world of archives, heritage, and local history.

The aim of the internship project is to catalogue and digitise the archival material relating to Dragon Hall, and to make this material more accessible for those who want to know more about this fascinating historic building. Dragon Hall was a medieval trading hall built in approximately 1430, and over the years it has taken on the form of a rectory, a pub, housing, and many other things. It has been interesting to learn more about the story behind the rediscovery and restoration of Dragon Hall in the 20th century: I had always appreciated the beauty of the building from the outside, but never knew the history of it that lies within!

Dragon Hall’s Great Hall as it is today

So far, I have been looking at the digital collection of items curated by Richard Matthew: from maps of the King Street area from the 1400s, to press cuttings from the 1970s, to PowerPoint presentations from the 2010s, there is a wide range of fascinating items that we hope to make more available to researchers through this project.

I will soon start looking through the physical materials located inside Dragon Hall as well, aiming to decide which items will be prioritised for digitisation. This will be the first time that I have used the digitisation equipment in the Norfolk Record Office, so I am excited to learn more about the process!

It has been wonderful to get to know some of the volunteers and staff who work at Dragon Hall and the Norfolk Record Office, and I feel very welcomed by everyone.

I would really recommend that anyone interested in local Norwich history visits Dragon Hall for a tour – more information can be found on the website: https://www.dragonhallnorwich.org.uk/. Hopefully there will be further information to follow as the project progresses!

Sally Piper

If you wish to know more contact details for Dragon Hall Heritage Volunteers can be found on their website.

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