Thursday, 5 June 2014

Our Wonderful Volunteers

If you have read previous blogs about this project you will know that we have been appealing for volunteers to help us. Well, after a successful appeal earlier this year, our enthusiastic volunteers have finally started work on various aspects of the project. Volunteer packs were sent out at the beginning of May and work began shortly thereafter. Over the course of the month almost 50 hours of volunteer time was logged by our busy beavers.

So, as a change from my yammering, in recognition of it being National Volunteers Week, I thought I would let them tell you about what they have been doing...

Stuart Leadley, SMR Reference Recording:
I’m Stuart and I work for the NHS, I’m also a former student of St Chad’s College, Durham, and I’m interested in ecclesiastical architecture. Although I had heard of Francis Johnson before I saw the call for volunteers I had no idea of the volume and variety of work undertaken by the practice. Since April I’ve been cross-referencing files held at the Humber Sites and Monuments Record with files from the FJ archive. Having looked at the relevant SMR file and double-checked it refers to FJ file as expected, I then note down the national grid reference and the type of material present. This information is added to a spreadsheet and will be incorporated into the archive catalogue. I’m enjoying working on this project as it gives me chance to learn more about buildings I’m interested in. I also know that my work is helping to make links between the FJ archive and other relevant research material.

Maureen Noddings and Anne Eastwood, Scanning:
Ann (left) and Maureen looking through the files
ahead of some selective digitisation
Hi, we’re Maureen and Anne and we are both semi-retired and enjoy volunteering on various different projects. We volunteer for two hours a week during which time we are going through the FJ files and identifying anything interesting, mainly drawings or plans, to be scanned for eventual use in promoting the collection. The work is fascinating and often amusing, and we get to see the development of projects that Johnson worked on. We find this volunteering project really interesting and our two hours pass very quickly. We are pleased to be helping to make this material available to others and enjoy being volunteers.

Clare Howard, Property Details Research:
Hello, I'm Clare and I research historic buildings as part of my job. I am enjoying volunteering for the FJ Project and have so far looked at the 16th century Old and New Hall at Hardwick and the Old Manor House and New Hall at Burton Agnes. I am currently researching Belton House. I am really enjoying working on the project because it is an opportunity to learn about fascinating places and I feel like I am helping the archives to in turn help researchers of the future.

Just to say thank you to everyone who responded to our appeal for help – we wouldn’t be doing this work without you. To all of you potential volunteers, it’s not too late! There are still spaces on the ‘Property Details Research’ project.

If anyone is interested please do get in touch with me
Claire Weatherall
Project Archivist