Money for historians with good ideas


SILVER for local historians with great ideas

In recent years, the Hampshire Archives Trust has awarded £ 178,000 in grants for 32 projects that meet its criteria, and want to give more, writes Barry Shurlock …

HAMPSHIRE is one of the richest counties in the country for the stories of the past which must be researched and told. Often all it takes is a little money to get a project started by one of the many local history and heritage groups with promising ideas.

This is where the Hampshire Archives Trust – a member-run charity that works to support and promote Hampshire’s rich archival heritage – has often stepped in to make things possible. His grants have ranged from as little as £ 260 to a high of £ 10,000.

Believing that archival stories are a vital part of a healthy and vibrant society, its mission is to help people preserve memories for the future.

The grants have therefore supported a wide variety of activities, in particular the publication of books and brochures and increasingly measures to digitize the archives. Other areas have included the staging of heritage-related exhibitions and performances, as well as projects involving film and oral history, cataloging and conservation and purchase of archival material.

HAT Secretary Sue Woolgar said, “We have a number of criteria for awarding a grant. Most importantly, it must be of public interest. This often means making collections more accessible in various ways. This may involve cataloging a local archive so that items are properly described and can be located.

“Or it could be buying material – like a collection of rare postcards – but on condition that they are made public. Then there is the digitization of the files, so that they are more easily accessible, perhaps online. And we also support a number of oral history projects, to record people’s first-hand memories.

Examples of grants include one of more than £ 8,000 given to the East Meon History Group to publish Farming the Valley, a richly illustrated history of the village published in 2019. The Milford-on-Sea Historical Records Society has received £ 2,600 to help him go up. the ‘Cornwallis Remembered’ exhibition at the St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, Lymington. King John’s House, Romsey, was awarded £ 2,800 to enable him to keep and display a “market and sale” of the house in 1571.

Stanmore Primary School in Winchester received a grant of £ 500 to purchase billboards to celebrate its 90th anniversary. Hyde900 has been granted permission to digitize its photographic collection with the support of over £ 1,000 from the HAT. And the Hampshire Constabulary History Society received £ 3,300 for the scanning of fragile microfilm

Skate Southampton was able to digitize a collection of photographs of the origins of skateboarding in the city with the help of £ 500, while the Petersfield Museum received the maximum and highest preservation grant of £ 10,000 for the preservation of over 100,000 negatives of photographs of the region. taken by press photographer Don Eades.

Further grants of £ 860 allowed Winchester-based 2TimeTheatre to feature performances of Lewd Women and Female Felons, based on records of women imprisoned in Bridewell County in Winchester and most recently the hilarious play Pies and Prejudice from the writings of Jane Austen.

Commenting on his website on his approach to storytelling using theater, he says: “Our productions aim to tell the hidden stories of women, both professional and personal, often using historical figures to help them. enlighten and debate their cultural and societal positions. . ”

The recently published book, Telling Other Histories: Early Black History in

Southampton, circa 1500-1900 by Cheryl Butler, Honorary Fellow of the University of Winchester. It developed from a talk she gave online based on the idea of ​​reflecting on ‘responses to migration’ after the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s departure from Southampton in 1620.

The research uncovered a large number of case histories of BAME people who had come to Southampton. To capture their stories forever, The United Voice of Africa

The associations (TUVAA), based in the city and chaired by Dr Abdoulie Sanneh, have successfully applied for a grant of £ 8,000. Covering 50 cases of all kinds, Telling Other Histories is now available from the SeaCity Museum and Waterstones online.

In a report on the book’s launch in Southern Daily Echo, Cheryl said, “This book is a huge resource not only for black people, but for anyone interested in the stories of Southampton. It includes buildings and locations related to the case studies from the book, as well as poetry and artwork from TUVAA’s children’s workshop inspired by the Black Lives Matter event and

112 color images of the city’s past and it’s also a great read.

Another project enabled by the HAT with a grant of £ 3,500 is Ropley’s Legacy, recently published by Dr Chris Heal. It tells how the village of Four Marks was created by progressive enclosures of common fields between 1709 and 1850. The book highlights the impoverishment of the populations that these changes brought about, and does not strike those responsible!

The grant was given to the publishers, the Ropley History Society, rather than the author, to satisfy a condition of the HAT program that funds are generally not available to self-employed individuals. The book is available online at Abebooks and Amazon and locally at Ropley Village Shop, Medstead Handy Store, Oxley Bookstore in Alresford and Waterstones in Alton.

Some local history groups have repeatedly started digitizing their archives, but for various reasons the project has stalled – software changes, people move on! About 10 years ago, to ensure the security of their records, the Worthys Local History Group began digitizing all of their records – documents, photographs and printed matter. They now have thousands of digital files available only on demand.

With a HAT grant of £ 500, WLHG has now taken professional advice from the Hampshire Record Office on how best to organize and catalog material and make it more easily accessible. The work will lead to generic process guidance that can be used by other groups facing similar issues.

Archives are not just about the distant past, which is why an offer from Wessex Film and Sound Archive to create a 2 year contemporary collection project, “Making History, Making Movies” was successful. Specifically. it understands people’s locking experiences and memories. Also funded by the British Film Institute, it was only made possible through a complementary grant of £ 3,000 from the HAT.

Commenting on the HAT grant program, Sue said, “Since we started the program in

2018, we awarded £ 178,000 in 32 separate grants to local history groups and organizations, and made a real difference by bringing archives to the fore.

“Full details on the application are available on our website, but we are always happy to discuss ideas with potential candidates in advance. For grants up to £ 500 we offer a year round telephone process, but for larger amounts up to £ 10,000 a committee meets twice a year to review applications.

“The next deadline is December 31 and then the end of June. We therefore encourage all groups with ideas that need funding to upload a form to the website and have fun! ”

For more details visit: [email protected]


A WFSA project featuring memories of confinement

Abbots Worthy House, a rare old photograph. Image: WLHG Archives

‘Catch the Eel’, Coronation Sports Day, Kings Worthy, 1911. Image: WLHG Archives

Southampton black history sets new record

John Blanke, the trumpeter who performed in Southampton in 1512. Image: Telling others’ stories

Dr Abdoulie Sanneh, President of TUVAA, at the launch of Telling Other Histories [Ed: Please crop]



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