Know Your Place West of England

on Tuesday, 23 June 2015.

Know Your Place West of England is an extension to the very successful Know Your Place project run by Bristol City Council which gives on-line access to various historic maps and other records (See: http://www.bristol.gov.uk/page/planning-and-building-regulations/know-your-place) The project has been successful in acquiring Heritage Lottery Funding to extend the project to include Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire. The project aims to provide wider access to historic maps – for Wiltshire this will be our tithe maps and Ordnance Survey maps. It will also provide a website for the public to be able to share their own information and images about their local area, if they would like to.

Long term the images will be available on-line via a GIS system. During the process of digitisation, from 1 July to the end of August 2015, some maps will be unavailable while they are photographed. We apologise that some tithe maps may be unavailable for a day or two while they are being digitised. It is advisable to pre-order tithe maps for the duration of the project to avoid disappointment – tel 01249 705500 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The written tithe awards are in the process of being transcribed with the kind help of Wiltshire Family History Society. The images of the maps will require further work to make them accessible on-line and we will be advertising a range of volunteer opportunities associated with this in due course. There will be a full programme of outreach and education activities with which people can get involved, so we will keep you posted!

Transforming Archives Traineeship

on Thursday, 04 June 2015.

Transforming Archives Traineeship (Collection Development and Community Outreach)

Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, Chippenham
£14,500 salary

Are you
•    Confident in using IT?
•    Great at getting on with people?
•    Confident in talking in front of groups in an approachable way?
•    Passionate about learning new skills?
•    Enthusiastic about taking on new challenges?
•    Interested in the past?
•    Looking for a new career?

If so, we’re looking for a trainee with the potential to develop a new career in the archive sector. We want to build on your practical skills and experience in technology and show you the great opportunities that archives and their collections can offer.

Whether you’re looking for a change in direction or are just starting out in your career, this traineeship at Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre could be for you. Transforming Archives is an exciting Heritage Lottery Fund training programme that is being offered in partnership with The National Archives.  The programme has been specifically designed for people who may never have thought about a career in Britain’s archive sector.

You’ll spend a year working on real-life projects whilst learning specialist skills that will equip you for a career in the heritage sector.  You’ll be helping to bring the past to life for new audiences now and preserving it for generations to come. By the end of your traineeship you’ll have built a portfolio that demonstrates your learning and have valuable skills to offer the sector.

Apply online at http://ig24.i-grasp.com/fe/tpl_nationalarchives01.asp

To find out more, go to http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archives-sector/transforming-archives.htm

Closing date:  Monday 15 June 2015 at midnight.

New Lecture Programme - May to October

on Monday, 18 May 2015.

Our 16th programme of afternoon lectures at the History Centre has now begun with talks from Archives, Local Studies and Archaeology plus a guest speaker. Topics range from the popular return to 'Horrible and Curious Histories' to several new talks: 'Women in the Lacock Archives','Victory 1945: The Aftermath', 'The Longbow: Its History and Use in English Battle' amongst others.

For more details and the full events programme please visit:

http://www.wshc.eu/home/events

By the end of the current programme we will have staged 178 of these lectures since the History Centre opened.

Alongside these lectures, there will also be three village interpretation days: we are reprising our two Lacock days from last year with Ally McConnell, Matthew Goodwin and Mike Marshman on 29th June and 6th July, and on 21st September Julie Davis and Mike Marshman will lead a new session for Colerne.

WSHC are encouraging young people to step back in time

on Thursday, 16 April 2015.

Young people are being encouraged to step back in time and learn dances from the First World War as part of an arts initiative to help bring the period to life. Wiltshire Council has been awarded £34,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for Dancing Back to 1914 – a project combining dance with learning the social history of 1910 to 1920. Aimed at  12 to 19 year olds, there will be regular dance sessions in Tidworth, Trowbridge, Salisbury and Malmesbury to inspire young people, their families and communities to engage in sharing and learning about the social history of 1910-20, focusing on the First World War.

People wanting to learn the dances or become involved in preparing for performances including costume and stage design are being invited to attend. No previous dance experience is necessary. The project will include pop-up dances, performances and celebrations of learning and achievement which will be shared with peers, families and the wider community. The council through its Wiltshire Youth Arts Partnership will work with Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre on the venture. As well as preparing dance performances, young people will gain an insight into social life during the decade by visiting museums and historic buildings, talking to inspirational people relaying stories from the time and reading letters from the frontline.

Stuart Wheeler, cabinet member with responsibility for heritage and arts said: “This is a unique way to bring a crucial period of time in our history to life for people living today. “By covering the whole decade we can understand how society changed during this time, what happened to people who went away and the changing role of women. I’m looking forward to watching this exciting project evolve.”  

The project will run for a year in term time only with performances in the summer, Christmas and spring 2016. Young people can sign up for one term or for the whole year. Venues are as follows:

Trowbridge Town Hall, Market Street, Trowbridge, BA14 8EQ Starting Monday 27 April 2015 5.30-7.00pm  

Malmesbury Town Hall, Cross Hayes, Malmesbury, SN16 9BZ Starting Monday 27 April 2015 4.30-6.00pm  

The Dance Studio, Wellington Academy, Tidworth Road, Tidworth, SP11 9RR Starting Tuesday 28 April 2015 5.00-6.30pm  

Salisbury Arts Centre, Bedwin Street, Salisbury SP1 3UT Starting with a taster session on Thursday 7 May 2015 Weekly classes start Thursday 4th June 2015 7pm to 8:30pm  

Those wanting to sign up for the project can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wiltshire Youth Arts Partnership is part of Wiltshire Council and works with young people and children to enrich lives through accessible and high quality arts activity. http://www.wyap.org.uk/metadot/index.pl

Now In Then Project Celebration

on Monday, 16 March 2015.

In our entrance gallery you can currently see a display of work created during the Now in Then: Contemporary Writing from History. This was an Arts Council funded creative writing project delivered by Creative Ecology Wiltshire (CEW) through the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre.

The year-long project has provided the opportunity for some great events with several different writers in residence giving advice to aspiring authors, and a couple of very successful author talks; Dan Cruickshank on Wiltshire Manor Houses, and a Roman Panel evening featuring historical fiction authors Ruth Downie, Ben Kane, and M.C. Scott.

The creative writing on display was created through a series of workshops led by a professional writer, each on a different topic, but always based on the archive and local studies material. It has been a successful project, highlighting the different ways archives can be used, and the inspiration that can be found. It has been a project that brought the past alive.

Also on display are the works of children who took part in a children’s comic masterclass, led by Liz Greenfield in partnership with Chippenham Library, where they created their own comic characters as well as historical Alfred the Great and the Vikings.

The end of the project was celebrated on Saturday 14 March. It was a great event, sharing the writing produced through rehearsed reading performances by professional actors. It was an exciting chance for authors to see their work performed and brought to life.

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