“Great to learn from experts amongst others with the same enthusiasm.”

Freshwater and Totland Archive Group

“It was an informative day that lived up to expectations and beyond and the value of the course was excellent.”

Prior’s Field School


Hampshire Archives and Local Studies has been running a unique training day for the past nine years, offering members of the public the opportunity to learn valuable practical archival skills.

The day-long course is divided into four introductory segments, as explained by Chris Garner from the Austin Seven Clubs’ Association.

“As complete novices we were guided through the various aspects of conservation, cataloguing and digitisation along with oral history tuition. This has proved invaluable in the work with our material.”


The sessions are led by members of staff who have specialist knowledge in these four subject areas. The course has been attended by over 200 individuals with a wide range of interests and backgrounds, from village associations, clubs and societies, as well as those interested in preserving their family documents.

“I found the one-day course Archive Ambassador very informative and it set me on my way to become the archivist at Houghton Lodge.”

Marian Rashleigh

“I particularly valued the information on copyright, how to store material and creating an accession policy.  The training gave me confidence in my task of managing our village (Abbotts Ann) archives. I would recommend the training to anyone seriously interested in family or local history.”

Tim Tayler

The training aims to create links between Hampshire Archives and Local Studies and communities which can act as champions for local history and archives. We also encourage participants to share the knowledge and skills they have learnt, to ensure archives are appropriately cared for and to encourage people to deposit records. Hayling Island Sailing Club offers a perfect example:

“As archivists at Hayling Island Sailing Club which is coming up to its 100th anniversary in 2021, we found the courses really helpful, informative and confidence building.   Afterwards we were able to impart what we had learnt to other Sailing Club members which enabled us to gather, collate and preserve valuable documents and photographs covering the then 90 years. We also found the staff at the Hampshire Record office most helpful with queries about acid free materials and general caring for archive documents and also answering difficult queries which needed sensitive handling.”


The course has also helped inspire participants to pursue new ideas and projects, as revealed by Hugh Barnes from the Austin Seven Clubs’ Association:

“When we attended the Archive Ambassadors course, we had a fairly well formed plan of our project much of which we were able to validate as part of our training. What we had not considered was the concept of ‘oral histories’. The concept was well explained and really appealed to us. As a result, we have embarked on a programme of recording oral histories from older members of the Austin 7 world which have been extremely well received in the Austin 7 community.”

Paula Baily was also inspired but in a different direction:

“The Archive Ambassador training, along with the House History course, was one of the things that inspired me to take a Master’s degree in Family and Local History, which I am doing now.”

If you want to learn how to preserve, make accessible or create archives then book a place on one of our next courses which are held regularly throughout the year.

Matthew Goodwin


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