ARCHIVES: SPRING 2018 ISSUE: TOC AND ABSTRACTS

CONTENTS

Adalgisa Mascio,Almost too ruinous to be repaired’: the Unknown Treasures project at The National Archives and the Court of Common Pleas brevia files

Robert F.W. Smith, Early modern petitions in the Norwich city records: a newly-catalogued collection at Norfolk Record Office

Caroline Williams, Understanding collections at risk

Penelope Baker, Back-bone or burden? The role of the RPS in the BRA

Nat Alcock, When any Tryumphe, Coronacion or Roialty shall pass by

ABSTRACTS

ALMOST TOO RUINOUS TO BE REPAIRED’: THE UNKNOWN TREASURES PROJECT AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS BREVIA FILES

By Adalgisa Mascio

In nearly 700 years of activity the position of the Court of Common Pleas in the English legal scene was paramount. This article examines the court’s surviving brevia files, recently accessioned into series CP 52 at The National Archives. It unravels their archival journey from their creation by the court’s clerks through centuries of neglect and often poor storage conditions up to the digital world of The National Archives online catalogue, with a focus on variation and change in the court’s record keeping practice over time. It also outlines the complex task of arranging and cataloguing the files so that they could be made available to researchers.

EARLY MODERN PETITIONS IN THE NORWICH CITY RECORDS: A NEWLY-CATALOGUED COLLECTION AT NORFOLK RECORD OFFICE

By Robert F.W. Smith

During 2015, as part of an internally-funded project fully to reassess and re-catalogue Norfolk Record Office’s substantial holdings of Norwich City Records (NCR) material, a sub-project was set up which aimed to sort and list eight bundles of petitions addressed to the Norwich city authorities, mainly from the early modern period. The sub-project was carried out by a volunteer working under the supervision of Norfolk Record Office (NRO) archivist Tom Townsend, who leads the NCR cataloguing efforts. Since the completion of the sub-project, this part of the collection of NCR holdings (amongst others) has become available through the NRO online catalogue. The documents in this collection are a treasure trove of insight into urban life in Norwich, and more widely into early modern Norfolk’s affairs; some are even of national relevance.

UNDERSTANDING COLLECTIONS AT RISK

By Caroline Williams

A core responsibility of the archives sector is to ensure that archive collections are properly cared for whether by an archives service or by parent organisations. Between the creation of records and their ultimate safekeeping lies a period of potential risk. While collections that should have been kept will always be lost, it is important actively to try to reduce risk in a sustainable way. The National Archives 2016 research project ‘Understanding Collections at Risk’ identified the nature of such risks, and how risks are differently present in different archive sectors. In considering the risks of loss and underrepresentation, it proposed steps that might be taken to mitigate such risks and improve representative collecting. A subsequent TNA workshop held in September 2017 considered the report’s findings, made six recommendations and established a steering group to develop an action plan to respond to the issues identified.

 

BACK-BONE OR BURDEN? THE ROLE OF THE RPS IN THE BRA

By Penelope Baker

The place of the Records Preservation Section (RPS) within the British Records Association (BRA) has come under regular scrutiny often at times of financial crisis. Using the BRA archives deposited at the London Metropolitan Archives, this article explores the changing role of the RPS over the last 85 years and its influence in the development of the Association and the broader archive sector.

 

Notes and documents

WHEN ANY TRYUMPHE, CORONACION OR ROIALTY SHALL PASS BY

By Nat Alcock

The 1628 lease of an inn in Cheapside, London, the Three Golden Lions includes details of the rooms in it and the fixtures and furniture included in the lease. It also includes the notable condition that the landlord with six friends was allowed to use an upper room to view processions passing along Cheapside.