Hello everyone! Welcome to the Volunteering for Shropshire’s Heritage blog. Volunteering for Shropshire’s Heritage is a three year long Heritage Lottery funded project working with Shropshire Council museums and archives. Working at Shropshire Archives in Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery and Ludlow Museum Resource Centre, we have over 300 volunteers registered to catalogue, conserve, digitize and promote our collections. A year into the project and already volunteers have contributed over 1820 days, in the course of which they’ve catalogued 29,916 records and objects, conserved 6,211 and digitized 5,844. Amongst the collections we’re working with are Silurian fossils, costume, geology, social history and the historic records of Much Wenlock and Shrewsbury Borough. We’re also producing exhibitions (next year it’s the photographs of celebrated photographer of Shrewsbury Joseph Lewis Della Porta and in 2014 we’re hoping to produce an exhibition on the history of Shrewsbury) and providing two new local history centres in Whitchurch and Market Drayton. We’re very keen that this be a people focussed project and so there’s plenty of opportunity for people to meet each other and share experiences and knowledge. In fact on Monday 3rd December we’re having our Christmas party at Shropshire Archives, to be followed by another at Ludlow Museum Resource Centre on Tuesday 11 December.
Over our first year we’ve already accumulated loads of knowledge and interesting information: everything from the Rector of Cound’s trip to the Coronation of the Tsar in 1896 to plans for imposing martial law in Shropshire in 1940 in the event of a Nazi invasion. Just yesterday we found a receipt for Shrewsbury’s first fire engine in the 1650’s! Look out for the interesting, exciting, weird and wonderful in this blog in future weeks and months. You’ll be able to see the project newsletters by visiting the relevant pages on Shropshire Archives’ website. Also try Shropshire Archives’ Facebook page
We hope you’ll join us as we continue our journey of discovery through the heritage of Shropshire, that most beautiful and historically rich of counties.