Posted by: kbenoy | October 2, 2012

Display highlights historic findings from firm’s records

This is the official press release regarding the Taking Account of Our Past display, which opened to the public on Tuesday 2nd October and runs until the end of December.

People can delve into the history of a number of local companies thanks to a new display at Wolverhampton’s City Archives.

It shows a selection of findings from the award-winning Taking Account of Our Past project, which catalogued and made available the records of Smith, Son and Wilkie, the Wolverhampton-based chartered accountancy firm.

Smith, Son and Wilkie’s collection covers more than 60 businesses and nearly 30 families who employed the firm to oversee their finances between 1861 and 1995.

And many of their stories can be found in the special display at the City Archives, based at the Molineux Hotel building.

Among the intriguing items on show are records from property developers the Queen Square Syndicate, which show how the area around Queen Square and Victoria Street looked before it was redeveloped as Queen’s Arcade, along with plans for its redesign by architect Fred Beck.

There are also records from The Wolverhampton and District Butchers, Hide, Skin, Fat & Wool Co Ltd, including the Memorandum and Articles of Association from the formation of the business in 1886, the Register of Members, sales information and evocative images from the Archives’ photographic collection.

Papers from various families, including Samuel Loveridge, the brother of well-known local Japanner Henry Loveridge, also form a part of the display which has been prepared by Cataloguing Archivist Kimberley Benoy. Jon Everall, the Archive Conservator, has also carried out the substantial conservation work needed on parts of the collection.

Wolverhampton City Archivist Heidi McIntosh said: “Each exhibition case contains a narrative on the business or family to explain the background of the records and tell the story of the people involved, so it should make for a fascinating display for anyone with an interest in local history.

“And should anyone want to dig a little bit deeper, we’ll be making further research material available for people to peruse relating to all the businesses included in the Smith, Son and Wilkie collection.”

The display will be on show at the Molineux Hotel until the end of December 2012. The City Archives is open from Tuesday to Saturday, though please note that the service will be closed for its annual stocktaking between December 3 and 15, 2012.

The 18-month Taking Account of Our Past project began last year thanks to support from the City Archives and the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives. The efforts of volunteers working on it were recognised in August when the Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland) presented project leaders with the National Archive Volunteer Award for 2012.

To find out more about Taking Account of Our Past, please visit www.takingaccountproject.wordpress.com.

Any media enquiries should be directed to www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/news.

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