Volunteers have always contributed to the work of Shropshire Archives, some have been with us for years (even decades), while others come for a more intensive short placement.
Just a flavour of some of the projects volunteers are working onsite….
- Describing newly deposited photographs, prints and engravings (you can read more about the background to the photographs they’ve discovered on our other blog posts).
- Working on medieval Latin documents providing transcripts or summaries for the online catalogue.
- Typing up existing printed catalogues so that they can be searched online. Last year volunteers finished work on the immense 6000 and 6001 ex Shrewsbury Public Library collections, but the work of typing up lists continues.
- Indexing records such as the Marriage Duties Act returns of 1694.
- Adding detail to catalogues, such describing in detail some of the Poor Law Union records, early 20th century Shelton Asylum case notes or 18th century Quarter Sessions files.
- Digitising glass negatives, photographs, poor relief records and other documents. In time these images will be added to our online catalogue.
- Cleaning documents in our conservation department.
- Helping catalogue the local studies library and parochial libraries collection.
We also groups of volunteers from organisations including:
- Volunteers from The Arts Society who help to clean medieval documents from the Shrewsbury Borough collection prior to specialist conservation and have just started a new project cleaning and repackaging our glass plate photographic collections
- Volunteers from Attingham Park (National Trust) who are cataloguing the letters of Lady Berwick
- Students from the University Centre Shrewsbury working on a short term placement to gain experience of cataloguing on our specialist database and also an overview of the service.
- Members of Shropshire Family History Society who run a help desk in our reading room each morning we open.
We also have volunteers working from home, via the Heritage Heroes website, to provide transcripts of documents.
Volunteers enhance the work that paid members of staff do and Shropshire Archives owes a huge amount to the hours they contribute.
We always try and match the skills of volunteers to the tasks that need doing. Volunteers usually work with us on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. With limitations on the number of desks, PCs and other equipment that we have, we’re sometimes over-subscribed, as is the case at the moment. When we’re able to accommodate new volunteers, we’ll add application forms to the volunteering web page and also put details on social media.