YORKSGEN-L ArchivesArchiver > YORKSGEN > 2003-06 > 1055982820
From: Guy Etchells <>
Subject: [YKS] Re: Centralised Archives
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 2003 01:33:46 +0100
Not rough at all, Wakefield had no interest in the proposal until the
last couple of months of the process, but by destroying the proposal,
which would have generated revenue for each of the participating
councils, Wakefield has lost out.
The idea was that there would be one central archive which housed all
the material with internet access to the various areas and an archivist
available to answer questions online.
It was also proposed that the various towns would have microfilm/fiche
copies of the registers.
Far from depriving local people access to their own local records the
initial study showed that most local people viewed microfilm/fiche
copies rather than original records and the bulk of users came from
outside the area in any case.
Education would have been enhanced as the centralized archive would have
been able to accommodate visiting classes of children.
The archive would have been the largest outside of London and would have
been prestigious for the area benefiting all the councils who
participated in the project.
The present situation is only one of the current local archives comes
close to meeting the current regulations for disabled access, most of
the buildings require repairs and none of the buildings meet the current
standards for archives large sums of money needs to be spent just to
meet current standards without providing for expansion. The running
costs of the seperate buildings means there is no money to spare to
staff the archives properly.
Under the proposal the majority of the cost would have been met by the
lottery funding but this would not be available to modernize the
Wakefield proposed the busiest car park in the city as an alternative
site, but in order to accommodate the archives the building would have
had to have covered half the site and been three stories high, leaving
the problem of where the cars that presently use the site would go and
where the visitors to the archives would park.
If Wakefield is so concerned about the archives why has the Registry of
Deeds been allowed to become a leaking ruin, this has not happened
overnight but through years of neglect?
In the mid 1970s the archive service in Wakefield released a report that
stated the archives were in need of renovation and could not cope with
the amount of material available, there has been no improvement of the
situation in the last thirty years this track record shows the attitude
of Wakefield council to the archive service.
> Hi Guy
> A bit rough here, why should Leeds have all the glory. Wakefield has the
> historical connections why can't lottery be spent in Wakefield it is about
> time the money was spread round and not consolidated in one place.
> Anyway I disagree with the idea of super archives, it would deprive people
> of their own local records and force them to travel a fair distance, and
> with public transport in the sate that it is it would be a fair old journey
> You also have to consider that Wakefield not only caters for West Yorkshire
> but being the administrive centre as it was for the West Riding affects all
> the South Yorkshire towns too as well as many other areas.
> I strongly believe that archives should be kept local and amalgamated with
> local studies sections.
> if there was enough money to build this super archives why isn't there
> enough money to build decent local offices. Many people do not have the
> resources either physically or monetary to undertake a journey which by
> right they shouldn't have to. The documents held in archives, local studies
> libraries and museums are in the main public documents and everyone should
> have a right to use them not just those of us who are fit enough or can
> afford the use of a car or public transport.
> We also need to ensure that children of all ages have access to these
> records how many schools will have the resource to visit Leeds from Halifax
> or Bradford. Today's schoolchildren are the future custodians of our history
> and heritage how can we expect them to look after them if they have never
> seen a original document.
> Things on microfiche, Cd Rom or the computer can never replace the wow
> factor of looking a document written hundreds of years ago. the internet is
> a extremely useful tool but we worried about kids watching too much TV now I
> worry about them using too much internet and not learning research skills.
> So power to the Wakefield Councillors but I will still be lobbying for
> decent local facilities in each of the outlying districts.
> Gillian Nixon
> From: Guy Etchells [mailto:]
> Sent: 17 June 2003 00:01
> Subject: Re: [YKS] York Family History Fair
> Touching on a very sore point there Roy, there was a proposal to
> amalgamate all of the West Yorkshire Archives to one central location
> near the Royal Armouries in Leeds. This would have consolidated all
> eight offices and the five out stores into one centre making the largest
> archive outside London, a state of the art flagship with internet links
> to the local libraries.
> An archive to be proud of which could have brought revenue to the area
> by contracting restoration work etc. and could have easily been self
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http://freespace.virgin.net/guy.etchells The site that gives you facts
- not promises!
I use Archive CD Books in my research http://www.archivecdbooks.org
Transcripts, Etch/ells Transcripts
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