Civic and history societies need place to store archive items

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The Civic Society and the Stamford and District Local History Society both possess archives of historical and Stamford-related material, which for many years have been kept in the Stamford Museum back store building.

This valuable and unique material consists of original documents, deeds, plans and indexes, and is currently housed in a variety of cupboards, filing cabinets, plan chests and many box files. Up to now it has been accessible to members of the societies and members of the public by appointment.

With Greenwich Leisure taking over the running of the Lincolnshire County Council Library Service from April, a question mark has been raised over the continued storage of these archives, and both societies have been asked to remove their archives from the museum store.

Their problem is that they have nowhere to house the material. Their most urgent need is for a safe, dry and lockable room with space and shelving for the cupboards, chests, filing cabinets and box files.

If the room was accessible for occasional research, and preferably sited in the town, that would be a bonus.

Chairman of the Civic Society, Gwyneth Gibbs said: “We believe it is very important that local information is available to researchers and is held in Stamford, such that it can be added to when 
appropriate.”

Philippa Massey of the Stamford and District Local History Society added: “We are hoping that someone local has the storage we need. Our two societies have asked everyone we can think of, local schools and colleges, churches, the Town Hall, the Stamford Mercury Archive Trust, but no-one has any spare space to offer us.

“We desperately want this material to stay in Stamford and ideally be accessible to the wider public.

“We have lost enough, with the museum closing and the library service being outsourced. We feel that these two archives could form the nucleus of a resource centre which everyone can use, and which our historic town deserves and needs.”

Stamford town councillor Harrish Bisnauthsing has also raised concerns that items gifted to the town for the benefit of Stamford will be moved to Lincoln, where they will no longer be accessible to researchers.

Stamford Museum closed in 2011 and some of the items were moved to Stamford Town Hall and some were installed in a small exhibition in the library.