True’s Yard Heritage Lottery Funded Project: Opening Up a House of History
A Happy New Year to all!
The project is well over half way through now and is progressing well. The commitment of the volunteers has been tremendous and is invaluable to the on-going success of this project. In addition to this the Friends of True’s Yard have also been providing support.
The storage areas in the attics at True’s Yard have now been organised into discreet storage areas, an Operations and Education Store, an Object Store and an Archival Store. Shelving has been purchased, installed and labelled. Archival boxes and other packaging material have been purchased and volunteers have re- packed much of the collection. Equipment has been purchased to monitor the environment of the collections. Also, blackout blinds have been fitted on three windows; the archive room, archive store, and the library to protect the collection from light damage.
The cataloguing of the framed picture collection has been completed, and the archive room, history files and reference library have been thoroughly reorganised to make them more user friendly. The reading room has had a make-over too!
Two new computers have been purchased and MODES, the museum database used at True’s Yard for recording collections, has been upgraded. An A3 scanner was purchased to facilitate digitisation of photographs and documents and has proved to be an asset. Work to catalogue True’s Yard’s collection of archival material is on-going. During the cataloguing process, items that need conservation treatment are identified and recorded.
A new computer for public use in the reading room has been purchased and the digital archive will soon be added to allow public access to the collection.
Volunteers carrying out conservation
In-house conservation training has been undertaken and has included light surface cleaning and repairs to documents and maps. Much of the volunteers’ work has been in the form of preventative conservation. Volunteers are packing the collection in conservation grade protective packaging.
An Oral History Group has been formed which comprises volunteers from local community groups including: True’s Yard, the Churches Conservation Trust, North End Guides, Town Guides, and the Town Hall. An Oral History Training Workshop was well received by the volunteers. Further workshops are planned, the aim being to create a pool of volunteers that can undertake oral history interviews. The sound recordings from the project “The People’s Voice” will be added to the True’s Yard archives and also used in an exhibition planned for summer 2017 at True’s Yard. A Sound Station has been set up in the reading room and is proving to be successful. This allows easy public access to recorded material via a tablet.