For the Record!

Regular users of Bath’s Record Office – currently operating in the basement of the city’s Guildhall – will probably be well aware that they cannot get in to use these excellent facilities during the third week of every month. I – meanwhile – had no idea this had been the modus operandi for the last couple of years and was taken aback when l came face to face with a Public Notice informing me it was closed!

The 'closed' sign in the Guildhall.
The ‘closed’ sign in the Guildhall.

For those – like me – who don’t know about this let me tell you about the ‘Collections Weeks’ – which is the more positive name for the regular closures. It is during these periods that staff are involved on ‘essential work in cataloguing and packaging the collections to improve access to them for users – now and in the future.’

It’s hoped the work will greatly improve access to many of the records – both for those visiting in person and for those using the on-line facility.

The Record Office is closed through to the 14th of January. After that we have February 17-21, March 17-21,April 21-25,May 19-23, June 16-20,July 21-25,August 18-22, September 15-19,October 20-24, November 17-21 and December 15-19.

I have copied below an example of a three-monthly report on what has been achieved in the ‘Collections Weeks.’ However, you can gain access to the Record Office web-site via

Report on Collections Weeks Sep. – Dec. 2014

We have been working on:

Accession 1043 – The ‘City of Bath Historic Buildings Survey’

This is a series of modern, large-scale plans showing in great detail the historic development of  properties in the centre of Bath.  The plans show basements and ground floor layouts at different time periods from Roman times to the present day.  The plans are of immense value to house historians, students of architecture and town planning, and those studying the development of the built heritage of Bath, as well as to those planning  building alterations and developments.  The research was carried out and the plans drawn by Derek Rowe, MCIOB.  We have been working to make the collection accessible, and although we do not yet have a publicly available catalogue, searchroom staff will be happy to help you find what you want within the collection.


Additions to the ‘Pamphlets’ series

Stephanie Adams, our Archives Assistant, has been continuing the work of bringing up to date the ‘Pamphlets’ series by adding books and publications of local interest which we have received from various sources.


Bath, Water and World Heritage: the City Records from the 12th to the 21st centuries. This is a major new project which has been made possible by the award of funding from the National Cataloguing Grants Programme for Archives.  The city records form a major part of our holdings, and this is an exciting opportunity to catalogue them properly for the first time, and open up the wealth of the collection to users.  The project will start in February, but we have been very busy carrying out vital preparatory work over the last three collections weeks.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for that, Richard. Like you, I was not aware of the closure. I need to access the records in the near future and, as I live outside of Bath, could have had a wasted journey without your valuable post.

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