This is the fiftieth Gunton Archive blog post, and, sadly, also the last. The project is drawing to its close at the end of this month, and the project archivist, Peter Monteith, who created this blog, has kindly invited me (Susan Maddock, Principal Archivist and project manager) to write this final posting.
As project manager, it falls to me to report to our Project Board on the achievements of the project over the past year. This proved a long list, thanks to Peter’s hard work and dedication, and that of our education and outreach team. Equally vital were the contributions made by our funders (the Heritage Lottery Fund, the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Friends of the National Libraries), other partners (including the University of East Anglia, Cromer Museum and Cromer Library) and the Gunton volunteers. These are just some of the highlights:
- More than 1,500 new descriptions of documents in the Gunton archive made accessible on the NRO’s online catalogue.
- Conservation work carried out on many of the documents, including some fine estate maps.
- This project blog, launched in September and updated at least weekly thereafter.
- The A Norfolk Estate, its Places and People exhibition, on show for three months in the Long Gallery at The Archive Centre.
- Children’s activities (‘Making Shields’, ‘Making an Almanac’ and ‘Creating a NorfolkTower’) at half-terms and in school holidays.
- Activities for children tested in schools and then converted into six online resources.
- Lord Suffield’s Cromer workshops at Cromer Museum and exhibition at Cromer Library.
Nor is the list yet complete, as the historical walk around Cromer and Overstrand, part of a programme of events under the umbrella of the BBC’s The Great British Story, is still to come. Research by participants in the Lord Suffield’s Cromer workshops, and the documents they consulted, will be used to illuminate the landscape and its history. There is still time to book a place (see the Norfolk Record Office page for our contact details) and the walk takes place on Saturday, 26 May.
We will also be using some of the resources created during the project in another Great British Story event this weekend: a large-scale regional event at Ickworth House on Sunday, 20 May. The Norfolk Record Office will be in residence on the first floor of the rotunda, offering workshops and advice on tracing the history of your house. Among the resources on show will be facsimiles of some Gunton estate maps and Peter’s illustrated research guide, A Norfolk Estate, its Places and People. Admission to the house, park and gardens is free, and the day is suitable for all ages.
Although there will be no further postings on this particular blog, it will remain as a record of the project, and the electronic versions of the Long Gallery and Cromer exhibitions and the schools resources will continue to be accessible from our own website. With the fiftieth anniversary of the Record Office coming up next year, and more special projects in the pipeline, I very much hope that readers of this blog will keep in touch via our website. This Gunton Archive blog was the first NRO blog, but it will certainly not be the last.
I and my colleagues at the NRO will be very sorry to see Peter go, but we are all delighted that he has not only found a new position, but is staying in our region. He takes up the post of Assistant Archivist at the Archive Centre, King’s College, Cambridge in early June. He has achieved a huge amount in his short time here, and we wish him well in his future career.