Jersey Heritage is celebrating two decades of preservation and access to archives this weekend as it marks the 20th anniversary of Jersey Archive opening to the public.
The celebrations, which take place on Saturday (18th), include a series of free online talks, as well as the opportunity to take a virtual tour of the newly-completed £3.5 million Archive extension.
Jersey Archive opened its award-winning building in Clarence Road, St Helier, on 24 July 2000, tasked with preserving the Island’s unique archival heritage and making this heritage available to the local, national and international community.
Twenty years on, the Archive now holds 790 cubic metres of records containing the stories of over 350,000 people who have lived in or are connected to the Island and its 50,000 houses, streets and places.
Linda Romeril, Jersey Heritage’s Director of Archives & Collections, has been with the Archive since it opened. She said: “I first worked for the archive service at Jersey Heritage in 1996 when I was a student about to embark on my Archives Administration Masters Degree. At that time, the service existed in one office in the Merchant’s House in Pier Road. With the opening of Jersey Archive in 2000, and now the completion of our extension, the service has grown beyond recognition and we now preserve and promote access to millions of individual documents, from parchment to email.
“I feel privileged to be part of the team that cares for and provides access to the wonderful document, objects and stories that we hold. It is so important that we continue to preserve and promote the rich heritage that Jersey has to offer. I am incredibly lucky to work with a team of staff, volunteers, supporters and readers who are passionate about heritage, and I look forward to celebrating our 20th anniversary virtually with them all.”
Jersey Archive staff had planned to hold an open day this weekend to mark the anniversary and to give tours of the new extension. However, with physical distancing guidelines still in place, the event has been taken online.
The programme for the 20th anniversary celebrations on Saturday (18th) is as follows:
10am: A Brief History of Jersey’s Archives
As part of our 20th anniversary celebrations, find out more about the history of Jersey’s archives and the establishment of an archive service for Jersey in 1993. Discover more about the goals of the service and our development from a single office at Jersey Museum to the current award-winning Jersey Archive building. You might see some familiar faces of staff along the way!
10.30am: Virtual Tour of the New Strongrooms
Join us on a virtual tour of the Jersey Archive extension, which was completed in 2020. See behind the scenes as we show you our new strongrooms, cleaning and quarantine rooms. This project will allow us to collect physical and digital records for many years to come.
11am: Ask the Staff – Panel Session
Join some of our professional staff as we answer your questions about the preservation of and access to Jersey’s archives. If you have ever wondered how we plan to deal with the challenges of digital documents or how we conserve 600-year-old manuscripts, this is your chance to ask! Please send any advance questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will also be able to ask questions during the webinar.
To register for any of the free talks, go to the ‘Heritage at Home’ hub on Jersey Heritage’s website at www.jerseyheritage.org/athome/heritage-live