Posted by: kbenoy | December 20, 2012

Launch of the Catalogue

The catalogue for the Smith, Son & Wilkie collection has been officially launched! It is available through the Black Country History website.

Catalogue on Black Country History Website

Catalogue on Black Country History Website

The catalogue contains 1,536 entries including descriptions of 1,223 individual items.

The collection was split into three parts:

  1. The internal records of the accountancy firm
  2. The records of client businesses
  3. The records of client families

The first section of the catalogue revealed a range of interesting records relating to the accountants including the Fire Order Book, which contains details of Fire Insurance Policies sold by the accountants between 1863-1873. This is believed to be the oldest item in the collection.

The second part of the catalogued revealed that the collection contains the records of around 80 businesses, many from the Wolverhampton area. A variety of types of business are represented in the collection including butchers, property developers, locksmiths, brick and tile manufacturers, shoe and boot manufacturers, timber merchants, garages, schools, doctors etc. The most interesting thing about the collection is the range of size of businesses included, from small local butchers shops to national associations such as the British Wrought Iron Association or Side Welders Association.

The third part of the catalogue has revealed details of a variety of family trusts relating to well-known wealthy Wolverhampton families including Mander, Loveridge, Crane, Shelton, Shaw-Hellier, Briscoe, Hodson, Jenks, Monckton, Reynolds, Sherwood etc. These records typically contain details of financial trusts set up to follow the wishes of the deceased as set out in their Will and include detailed information on all assets such as property and investments.

To use the catalogue search for D-SSW or use any search term, go to the bottom of the page and look for the name of the collection in this case:

+ D-SSW: Smith, Son & Wilkie, Chartered Accountants, Darlington Street, Wolverhampton

with a little plus sign + on the left. If you click on the + it will open the levels in the catalogue below the collection level description.

Catalogue Levels

Catalogue Levels

By opening and closing the sections using the + and – buttons you can explore the catalogue. To get more information on any level of the catalogue click on the description and it will open up the page you would like to see with all the details but the catalogue levels as shown above will be at the bottom of the page so you can continue to navigate through the catalogue.

I hope this makes sense! An archive catalogue is a difficult thing to explain. The main thing to bear in mind is that a catalogue provides you with descriptions of the items in the collection and does not contain images or transcripts of the items. It is designed to help researchers find records that will be relevant to them through description of items.

If you have any questions or comments about the catalogue please contact .

With the launch of the catalogue and the completion of the project comes the end of my time at Wolverhampton City Archives. Today is my last day as I am moving on to a new Archivist position at Teesside Archives, based in Middlesbrough. I have greatly enjoyed my time on the project and working in Wolverhampton. I have met and worked with many fantastic people, both staff and volunteers and I will miss everyone.

We have a new project starting at Wolverhampton City Archives, looking at Wolverhampton’s role in the First World War. To accompany this project, there is a new blog telling the stories of local people available at Please take a look and if you or your family have any relevant stories we would love to hear from you.

This will be the final post on the Taking Account of Our Past project blog so if you have any questions or enquiries in the future please contact . Thank you for taking the time to read the blog and follow the project.

I would like to thank everyone who has made this project possible including:

  • The National Cataloguing Grants Scheme for Archives
  • The National Manuscripts Conservation Trust
  • Heidi McIntosh (City Archivist)
  • Jon Everall (Conservator)
  • All the staff at Wolverhampton City Archives
  • Stuart Williams (Volunteer Coordinator)
  • All the project Volunteers

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



  1. Well done Kimberley. Good luck in the new job and a very Merry Christmas to you. Give my regards to Liz Rees if you ever meet her at Tyne & Wear Archives

    • Thank you Derek. Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year!

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