As part of the Excite Inspire Engage Erewash project, I met and worked with the rather lovely and very talented Paula Moss on the Metal Ages section.
Amongst other things, Paula has been Artist-In-Residence at the Derbyshire Record Office whilst they redesigned and refurbished their space, and as the project is coming to an end, we got the opportunity to take a “back stage” tour to see what it was all about.
I guess I’ve never given much thought to what a record office does. Is it a library service, a museum, a room full of files and paper? Well, I guess it’s all of those and more.
The office, at Matlock, houses 12 rooms of records for both Derby city and Derbyshire as well as local studies books, and also
You can find out all sorts of information about anything in the area, and the staff are very generous with the help and support. The outlook at this friendly office is that this information is there for the public to see and to make use of, and not only can you access a wealth of information, you can even see, touch and use original documents.
There’s a huge variety of things in their collection from the original silk paper charter for the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School at Ashbourne, to original woodcut blocks and prints from local artists, slave records from a plantation (owned by a Derbyshire estate) and much much more.
A fabulous resource if you are researching for an art project, or looking into your family tree.
It’s free to use and open, without the need for appointments six days a week. Well worth a visit, and they even have a lovely little break room with a most appealing aroma from the coffee machine if you don’t fancy wandering down the hill back into Matlock.
Can’t wait for the chance to go back and study something – I fear I could lose most of a day though!