Archive Ambassador Training Days

“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.

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Hampshire’s maps: sea serpents and trains

Beware the sea serpent which prowls the Solent Strait and preys on unusually large ships featured on Norden’s magnificent map of Hampshire dating from 1595. His highly decorative map contains referenced symbols indicating market towns, hamlets and castles and also reveals the dangerous beasts which lurked in the sea.  Norden was the first English mapmaker to publish triangular tables indicating the distances between places and to show administrative boundaries within Hampshire.

Norden's Map

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Musings of a millennial #WFSAselfie

Hold the phone! Millennials in the archives? Surely not? What place is there for youths and their smartphones in a dusty deluge of ancient documents and film stock? Little did you know that my handy dandy smartphone, amongst other gizmos and gadgets, is revolutionising how we do things here at Hampshire Record Office, with social media coming to the forefront of how we communicate with you. So join me and my smartphone on an insta-worthy little tour in pictures of the nooks and crannies of the Wessex Film and Sound Archive.

Ashleigh selfie
#WFSAselfies, #lovearchivefilm

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Into the light: behind the scenes at the archives

One of the things archivists love about cataloguing is the thrill of discovery: that feeling you get when you lift the lid on an untouched box, or remove the original string from a bundle of documents, knowing you’re probably the first to do so in decades – possibly even centuries. You never know what you might find!


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We’re all going on a summer holiday!

Not long after I started working at Hampshire Record Office, I was sorting documents for customers in the search room and amongst them were a number of travel diaries.  I remember looking through them and being captivated by the amount of detail and impressive sketches included within.   The longer, lighter days, warmer weather and recent bank holiday weekends have got me thinking about holidays, travel and in particular these diaries.   Continue reading “We’re all going on a summer holiday!”

The Parish Pump: community insights from parish magazines

Imagine a source of information, available for many (although not all) parishes in Hampshire from the late 19th century down to the present day, giving information about baptisms, weddings and funerals; obituaries of local people; details of activities of local churches, schools and clubs; advertisements for local shops; and clues to local people’s concerns over the years. An ideal source for local and family historians – so it’s perhaps surprising that more people don’t consult the parish magazines we hold. Continue reading “The Parish Pump: community insights from parish magazines”

Are you being served?

The public house has been an important social institution since the Romans in this country. No doubt, many of us like to enjoy a glass or two in a local pub! But have you ever thought about the history of the establishment that you may be visiting?  We know that the comment made frequently is “there is nothing quite like the English Pub!” So if you are interested in delving into the history of a pub then sources here at Hampshire Record Office may help you investigate further.

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Animal Archives


We are a nation of animal lovers who are besotted with our pets so it is no surprise to discover a wide range of animals featuring in the archives we care for.  From dogs learning to ride scooters to cats helping with the gardening, there is an innumerable amount of sources concerning our beloved pets and animals.  For this blog, I’m going to share with you some of my favourite animal archives.

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The Mottisfont Eagles

The National Trust’s Mottisfont Abbey is today best known for its late 20th century rose gardens, created by the late Graham Stuart Thomas within the walls of the former kitchen gardens. Back in the 1890s the garden buildings included an extensive aviary, home to what was then said to be England’s largest collection of eagles and other raptors. The birds belonged to Daniel and Richard Meinertzhagen, the eldest sons of the family then in residence at the Abbey.

The Mottisfont Eagles and Adams the bird keeper HRO Ref 12M96-37
The Mottisfont Eagles and Adams the bird Keeper HRO Ref 12M96/37

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