Today we are absolutely delighted to announce that our Kirklees office has been successful in applying to The National Archives’ Archives Revealed cataloguing grants programme!
The National Archives has awarded the service £40,000 to deliver an ambitious and exciting project that will transform the access, engagement, preservation and use of a huge proportion of our Kirklees collections, allowing us to discover new treasures and provide full access to vital collections for the very first time!
The ‘Creating Kirklees: 150 years of local democracy’ project will catalogue and celebrate the archives of the 11 local authorities that merged to form the Borough of Kirklees in 1974. This ambitious project will catalogue over 170m3 (about one and a half double-decker buses!) of archives that comprehensively tell the unique story of the development of the entire Kirklees area from the 1820s to the 1970s and beyond. These extensive collections cover town planning, public health, schools and education, child welfare, transport, water and energy supplies, cemeteries and crematoriums, emergency services, wartime services and defence, and much more!
Alongside the cataloguing work, we will also deliver an innovative engagement programme that will help communities to discover these remarkable collections and use them to improve and enrich their lives. Democracy is the beating heart of these collections and so the engagement programme will aim to strengthen local democracy by helping residents to use these collections to uphold their rights and to support democratic accountability.
And it doesn’t stop there, the final aim of this project is to be a real catalyst for our Kirklees office by helping to inform and develop many exciting plans on the horizon. The archives preserved and stories discovered by this project will feed directly into the Kirklees-wide celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the Borough in 2024, and also help to transform the entire Kirklees service by shaping the plans to develop our brand new archives facility as part of Kirklees Council’s Huddersfield Blueprint project.
Whew, so we’ve got a lot of work to do then!
Now that we’ve received this amazing news (seriously can’t get rid of the cheesy grins on our faces!), we’ll get cracking with all the detailed planning work but we’ll let you know as soon as we’ve got everything in place and we’re ready to get started!
Finally, we would just like to say a huge thank you to The National Archives, The Pilgrim Trust and The Wolfson Foundation for this award. This project really will be game changing for our service and wouldn’t be possible without this grant so THANK YOU!
Wow! So incredibly excited!
The Kirklees Team