Derbyshire Record Office Set to Reopen This Week

Written by on 7 July 2020

Derbyshire Record Office is set to reopen for an appointment only service from Thursday (9 July).

Other temporary measures will be in place at the Derbyshire County Council-run Record Office in New Street, Matlock, to help keep visitors and staff safe and prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The Record Office is home to thousands of archives dating back 900 years, and is normally used by dozens of people every week, from students researching papers to people piecing together their family trees.

It closed on 20 March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but staff have been working on plans to re-open following the Government’s latest guidance on social distancing.

Despite a slight relaxation of the rules, safe social distancing will be insisted on in the building with the strict appointment only system in place until further notice.

Derbyshire County Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Leadership, Culture and Tourism Councillor Barry Lewis said: “We’re really pleased to be able to re-open Derbyshire Record Office as we know how much Derbyshire residents and the much wider community value it and the wealth of resources on offer.

“The safety of our customers and staff remains our top priority, and we are putting a range of new measures in place to protect everyone visiting and our staff, and to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“The team at the Derbyshire Record Office has been hard at work during the pandemic strengthening its online presence which has meant that people have still been able to access a lot of material and information during lockdown, and we know this has been widely used and welcomed.

“However, for some there is nothing like actually visiting in person, and some of the material can only be accessed this way, so this is a really positive step forward.”

From Thursday, the Record Office’s opening hours will be Monday to Friday – 10am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4pm.

Bookings must be made at least a week in advance for local studies and archive research, and customers should phone 01629 538347 or email [email protected] to make their appointment.

The local studies library will not be open for browsing, but customers can pre-order local studies items. All local studies items and documents will need to be booked in advance and staff will not be able to get out other items during the visit.

If customers need help identifying what documents or local studies material they should look at, an archivist will offer them a video or phone call to discuss their needs, so they can get the most out of their visit.

For customers who can’t or don’t want to visit in person, a (paid-for) copying and research service will be available.

There will be two public computers which can be used, but they must also be booked in advance by phone or email.

The Record Office is currently only taking in urgent archive or local studies deposits or donations, and people are asked to get in touch with the Record Office to discuss this, and not just turn up. Where deposits or donations are not urgent people are being asked to hold onto material for the moment.

While the Derbyshire Record Office has been closed staff have been working hard to make the collections more accessible. They have published more than 20 new research guides and improved over 30,000 catalogue entries, including making it possible for researchers to search some records by name for the first time, such as bastardy orders 1682-1800 and parish apprenticeship indentures.

For more info about what the Record Office has been up to during lockdown go to the blog at
https://recordoffice.wordpress.com


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