Collections Week 24-28 June – what we achieved

Our team were very busy during the last week of June when we were closed to the public. Here are some of the highlights of what we were up to:

29 July 2019

  • Progress was made on our Wellcome Trust-funded project, Building a Healthier City.  This project focuses on Bath’s public health records from the 18th to 20th centuries and includes the archives of the Bath Commissions, which were set up to make improvements to the city environment.  The catalogue to the Bath Commissions was edited during Collections Week and will be published on our on-line catalogue later this year.  The records give a fascinating insight into life in the city, including the setting-up and running of the night watch, street improvement works, the commissioning of lighting and rubbish removal and building works to enhance and protect the spa.  
  • Surveying and organising the remaining parts of the collections including the ‘tin trunk’ (see image). This has enabled us to finalise the cataloguing structure for the waterworks collections and identify a large collection of material which relates to the creation of the Monkswood Reservoir.
  • Writing a bid to external funders for a public engagement project about these public health records.  The proposed outreach programme would include workshops, an exhibition and a discovery day. We will find out in September whether the bid has been successful.
  • Cataloguing the pamphlet series including newsletters and annual reports from the Bath Preservation Trust 1980s, Avon County Council and Bath City Council/Bath & North-East Somerset Council Handbooks 1980s-2000s and indexes of the Fire Insurance Policies of the Sun Fire Office and The Royal Exchange Assurance 1775-1787.
  • Collecting 35 volumes of Bath Chronicle editions (1920-1938) to add to the Local Studies newspaper collections. This mystery gap in the sequence of Chronicles held by the Record Office has now been plugged!
  • Surveying strongrooms to identify series of Bath City records for cataloguing and to assess conservation needs for future planning.
  • Tracing items on loan (including records of the Royal Mineral Water Hospital now the Royal United Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases).
  • Arranging for the latest editions of the electoral roll to be bound (which are now accessible on site at the Record Office).

We are planning for another closure period which will provisionally be for a fortnight in December – we will update you on this as soon as possible.