We’re #imaginingyork for Local History Month!

I realise I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog recently, so apologies for that. I’ve been continuing to work on the new archives service at York Explore, and I’m pleased to report that the intrepid band of Archives & Local History volunteers have now completed the cataloguing of all our open access book stock! Given that we have only been open for four months that’s an amazing achievement, so a massive thank you goes to all of them from me. There’s still a lot to do, though, including the cataloguing of our special collections books and pamphlets, so keep an eye out for more updates over the coming months.

Today marks the start of Local and Community History Month, which aims to increase awareness of local history and promote history in general to local communities. This year we will be tweeting some of the amazing images from our Imagine York collection throughout this month, so make sure you are following @YorkArchivesUK to see them all (they all have the hashtag #imagineyork). I’ve only selected a handful of the thousands of historic images we have in the collection, so if you are inspired to look for more you can do so through the Imagine York website. There’s something in there for everyone, from transport to historic buildings, community events and leisure pursuits, so tell us what you think of the images and which ones are your favourites. You can also directly participate in improving our knowledge of the collections – if you have information about a photograph or notice an error, use the ‘Tell us about this image’ button to let us know. I get weekly reports of all the updates so I can make the necessary changes.

Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, 1897

York’s residents gather to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, 1897

Don’t forget, if you like any of the images on the site we can supply high-resolution digital copies for you to print at home for £7 per image (plus £5 handling fee). There are additional charges for publishing them in books and on websites, but with reproduction charges starting at just £13 it’s worth taking a look. We can take payment over the phone or by cheque (payable to ‘Explore York Libraries and Archives’), so just drop us an email at archives@exploreyork.org.uk with details of the images you would like and we’ll be happy to sort everything out for you.

In other news, we still have two Mint Yard lectures to come in our summer programme – former City Archivist Richard Taylor will be speaking about his new role at Transport for London at Acomb Explore on 27th May, and you can find out ‘what’s new with the Vikings’ from University of York’s Dr Steve Ashby at York Explore on 16th June. Tickets for both events are on sale now, priced £5 each, and are available from any Explore library or from www.feelinginspired.co.uk. I’m currently finalising the autumn Mint Yard Lectures programme and the details for a very special summer weekend at the moment (more information will follow shortly).

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Richard Taylor will be discussing ‘London’s Handwriting’ at Acomb Explore on 27th May

In the meantime, enjoy #imagineyork and remember to let us know your thoughts on the images we have chosen.

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