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Canford Cemetery, 1924

Bristol Record Office newsletter

April 2016


Logo for Ten Centuries of Records exhibition
Ten centuries of records
Friday 8 April to Friday 26 August 
(Free - donations welcome)

At Bristol Record Office, our role is to continue Bristol's long tradition of record-keeping. Our latest exhibition shows how we collect, preserve and share the city's historic archives.
Avonmouth Docks, 1963
Bristol Revisited: a film by Gordon Young & Bob Bennett
Thursday 7 April 2016, 6.30pm to 7.30pm
(Free - donations welcome)

The premiere of a film by members of the Bristol Film & Video Society, contrasting footage from the 1956 film Western Gateway with modern views of the city.
Mortimer Road, Clifton, 1907
An introduction to house history
Saturday 16 April 2016, 10am to noon
(£15, concessions £12)

Learn skills to explore the history of Bristol’s homes using archive sources, in this two-hour beginner’s session.
Please note that this event will take place at M Shed.
Town Clerks' letter books (c) Neil McCoubrey)
Bristol Record Office: Documenting the City
Thursday 12 April, 5.30pm to 6.30pm
(Free - donations welcome)

A new talk about the archives at Bristol Record Office, from the intriguing medieval Curse of St Ewan to rare colour footage of the Second World War.

Consultation: should we change our name?

Extract from a baptism register
We're thinking about changing our name from Bristol Record Office to Bristol Archives, so we'd love to hear your opinion - which name best reflects the service we offer? Please tell us what you think.

News and projects

The searchroom at Bristol Record Office
Paid search service
If you can't visit our searchroom, we now offer a paid service. We can search for specific information in archive records, starting from Â£23 per hour. For more details, please contact us.
Guild of the Brave Poor Things
History of Place project
We're working with Accentuate on a national social history project exploring the history of disabled people in relation to built heritage. In Bristol, we will focus on the premises of the Guild of the Brave Poor Things in Braggs Lane, which opened in 1913 as the first building designed to bring together disabled people. Project volunteers will be researching the site to produce a new exhibition for M Shed.
New book cushion
Thank you for your donations
We've just introduced new cushions for consulting volumes of records in the searchroom, funded by donations from our visitors. Thank you to everyone who has contributed, as your money goes directly towards improving our collections and facilities.

Collections news

Bedminster Down Boys Club
New catalogues online
We've updated our online catalogue with details of several major collections, including:
• Records of the Colston Society and Grateful Society
• Records of Bedminster Down Boys Club
• Plans of Bristol City Council's post-war housing
• Papers of local historian Ethel Thomas
Visit our new catalogues page to find out more.
Tower blocks and Victorian housing in Easton, 1960s
Public relations photos on Know Your Place
Our volunteers have started a new project to add photographs from Bristol City Council's public relations office to the Know Your Place website. Most of the photos date from the 1930s to the 1970s. So far, over 300 images have been added, showing street scenes, housing and the River Avon.

British Empire & Commonwealth Collection

Thie Chinese game of fantan
We're finding some wonderful material during our project to catalogue photographs and films from the former British Empire & Commonwealth Museum - find out more in Jayne and Nicky's blog post.

Group visits

Behind-the-scenes tour of Bristol Record Office
Are you looking for an interesting visit for your group or society? We offer behind-the-scenes tours of the archives for groups of up to eight people for a fee of £40. For more details, please email us at

Also in Bristol

Bristol International Exhibition, 1914
Exhibition: Bristol's Lost City
Bristol Cathedral, until 30 May

Another chance to see this display about the White City, Bristol's International Exhibition, which became barracks for soldiers of the First World War. Author Clive Burlton will be giving a talk about the White City at the cathedral on 22 April.
Fry's chocolate factory in the Pithay, Bristol
ALHA Local History Study Day
UWE (Frenchay campus), Saturday 16 April

This year's theme is Vanished Industries, Vanished Skills, with talks on Bristol's lost factories and trades, covering cotton, chocolate, sugar, coal mining and more.
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Bristol Archives
B Bond Warehouse
Smeaton Road
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