Posted by: kbenoy | June 6, 2012

Volunteers Week

This week 1st – 7th June is Volunteers Week. Throughout this week I will be posting blog entries written by volunteers on the project to give their perspective on the tasks they have undertaken.

This project has around 10 active volunteers who have been researching the histories of the businesses and families represented in the collection. The amount of research produced has been much greater than a single member of staff could contribute to the project and has improved the quality of the catalogue.

A group of Volunteers

All the research produced during this project by the volunteers will be added to the collection for use by the public. It will be a great resource for people interested in local history and the commercial and industrial heritage of Wolverhampton over the last century.

As well as the research element, the volunteers have been assisting with basic conservation tasks and cleaning. This has been a great contribution to the project as the volume of records to be cleaned would have been too great for a single member of staff in conjunction with the rest of the conservation work required for the collection.

A volunteer cleaning a letter

The volunteers have also helped with tasks such as the physical reorganisation of the records that took place during the Archives closed fortnight. This support was fantastic and ensured that a large task such as rearranging the contents of 200 boxes went smoothly and was easily completed within the time allowed. This task also offered the only opportunity to see the collection as a whole and get an idea of the scale of the project.

Records during the Box Sort Out

Volunteers also offer their time to help with events such as Heritage Open Day and Local History Fairs including Penn Local History Fair, which takes place on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th June at Penn United Reformed Church, Wolverhampton.

The volunteers are also a great source of local knowledge, helping to put the information discovered into context and track down correct locations, find graves and generally find the information to bring the stories to life.  

I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this project so far for all their hard work and continued support.

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