More mysteries in the archives

Last autumn we showed you a selection of photographs and other documents from our holdings that we had been unable to identify, and we were delighted that several blog readers got in touch to suggest identifications, which we were able to verify. Those documents are now fully catalogued and it is more likely that researchers will be able to find them using the catalogue. Link to previous blog.

Here is another selection of documents that are mystifying us, and which we hope you may be able to help us with. In some cases the fact that we have found them among the papers of a particular family or organisation means that we have some clues. It is a great pity when we have to admit defeat and fall back on descriptions such as ‘unidentified large house’ in catalogue entries – while being aware that, if only we could identify it, it might be exactly the house that someone is trying to research.

k 136A09_6 GroupPhotoUnidentified event. Continue reading “More mysteries in the archives”


Mysteries in the archives

In most of our blog posts, we take the opportunity to introduce you to documents held at Hampshire Record Office that we know something about. The main qualification for items to appear this week, by contrast, is that we don’t know much about them, or at any rate not as much as we should like to.

When we catalogue documents, we do try to work out the places and people that they relate to, although this can take a little detective work: sometimes, for instance, we can identify the location of a building shown in a photograph by comparing it with other photographs of a likely building. Most of the photographs that we receive arrive as part of the archive of a family, an estate or an organisation, and that can give us a clue to the likely location.

There are times, however, when there are no clues that give us any idea of the likely area to look in. It’s frustrating to think that a photograph we are struggling to identify may be the only illustration we hold of a particular scene, but if we cannot work out where it was taken, future researchers will be unable to make use of it.

f 79a01-G1-05Can you identify this pub?

Continue reading “Mysteries in the archives”

Hampshire Constabulary Archive

As a historian and former serving member of the Hampshire Constabulary, I am now preforming a voluntary role in the police dealing with history enquiries and archives. Over the years police forces around the country have disposed of thousands of documents and files. This was necessary for lack of space and storage, and (especially in the past) because few saw any need to keep old files. Personnel files however were usually kept, as these might be required for pension purposes. Thus today we have good records of past police officers, and this delights many people searching for ancestors who were police officers. They hold a lot of detail,such as physical appearance and past occupation (200M86 H36 series). Continue reading “Hampshire Constabulary Archive”

Meeting Austin and Gladys: The work of our external digitisation service

Hampshire Archives and Local Studies (HALS) has provided a digitisation service for external clients since 2013.

One of our first very significant commissions was from the Austin 7 Clubs’ Association.  The added value we could provide was behind our selection for this commission. During the first contact from the group, we identified that, as well as digitisation, the group was looking for other support with its archive. We run regular Archive Ambassadors workshops, mentioned in another blog and, as a result of our making that connection, a delegation from the Association came along to one of these workshops to find out more. Continue reading “Meeting Austin and Gladys: The work of our external digitisation service”

Become a house detective

When was my house built? How has it changed over the years? Who were the previous residents? If these are questions you would like to find answers to, we are here to help.  Hampshire Archives and Local Studies holds a wealth of resources including maps, building control plans, sales particulars, census records and local history books, ready and waiting for you to explore!

Continue reading “Become a house detective”

Exploring the Winchester Cathedral Archive

Which archive collection held in Hampshire Record Office contains over 13,000 items, dating from between AD957 and 2017, and ranges from accounts kept by medieval monks to recordings of choral music, and from maps to memoirs? The answer is the Winchester Cathedral Archive, which we now look after on behalf of the Dean and Chapter, and which is one of the largest archives deposited here in recent years. Continue reading “Exploring the Winchester Cathedral Archive”