Following hundreds of days hard work by sixteen Members of the Christchurch History Society the Project, part financed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, for the Christchurch History Society Website and On-Line Catalogue has now been completed within the approved time-frame and budget, achieving all of the Project Objectives.
In the past twelve months the Members involved have collectively spent some 515 days of their time, a donation of some eight times the Heritage Lottery Fund Grant using their ‘match-funding’ figures. Richard Randerson, Chairman of the Christchurch History Society and the leader of the Archives Team, has expressed his sincere thanks to all those involved and added that “from the contacts that I have received I know our website is the envy of many and held in high esteem by all”.
The Website has been well established for many months and is attracting many requests for research enabling the extremely value resource to be well used. The On-Line Catalogue now contains 16,081 items including 4,938 digital images of events, landmarks and people of Christchurch. For the time being these digital images are only available by making a visit to the Archive Room at Christchurch Priory in the normal way. During the cataloguing process some 2,900 duplicate records from the previous haphazard indexes of items have been removed.
The Catalogue was brought together into one searchable database information about documents, books, maps, newspaper cuttings and photographs that the Society holds so that it is accessible to Members and non-members. The On-Line Catalogue enables web users to carry out a a word search together with filters on the subject, original format of the archival material, the place referred to and time period covered by the material.
The Society was fortunate to secure in February 2016 a £9,400 Heritage Lottery Fund Grant to enable a much enhanced website to be developed and launched on 26th July 2016 to host the on-line catalogue of the Christchurch History Society Archive.
To assist the user of the Catalogue a set of Guidance Notes has been published on the Website. These Guidance Notes take the user through a ten step process of locating individual items on the catalogue. If you wish to visit the Archive Room, by appointment, and view any records that you have located by using the on-line catalogue please download the Visit Application Form and enter the Reference Number and, if a digital record, the Filename onto the Form and complete all other details and post it with a donation as suggested on the Research and Family History Enquiries Page to The Research Co-Ordinator, Christchurch History Society, The Porch Room, Priory House, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 1BX.