Society Archives

There are several ways to inform the public about the history of Yateley.  We can mount exhibitions, give talks, hold heritage walks, provide websites, and publish our own books, or contribute to books written by others. We have done all of these.  In order to be able to do all of these things we have to collect and maintain our own archive. If this archive is digital, and we have instant access on our own computers then we can be more productive, and provide answers faster.

After the disastrous fire which destroyed most of Yateley Parish Church in 1979, but through which most of the Parish records fortunately survived, Yateley’s local historians felt it necessary to make the records of the Parish less vulnerable to such disasters by making transcriptions of the principal historical records of the parish.

There are now many more of the more important records of the village transcribed onto computer format. More recently, facsimiles of old photographs and paintings have been added to this ever expanding collection. There is still a long way to go before all the important records are computerised

There is great emphasis today to create what are now known as ‘Community Archives’.  The Society has had one since the WEA tutorial course, and it has expanded ever since.  We may well be able to claim we have the best digital community archive in the country.

The rationale used to classify and control our archives is explained below::

Primary Sources

Primary Sources are original documents of local historical importance such as the recently acquired envelope addressed to Sir Charles Stewart Wilson at The Manor House, Yateley in 1914. All primary sources are initially photographed for the society’s digital archive and then deposited in the Society’s collection at the Hampshire Record Office (HRO now renamed HALS) together with those collected by earlier Yateley local historians.  These earlier collections include those assembled by Geoffrey Holt Stilwell, Sydney Loader, and Jean McIlwaine.

Secondary Sources

Secondary Sources  might be a book or article about Yateley, perhaps just containing a paragraph or two about Yateley.  Over the years, the Local Studies Centre in Winchester and the Record Office have acquired their own copies of most of Yateley’s major secondary sources which we have. These two organisations have recently merged so they may already have two copies, so don’t want another. Therefore, having digitised them, we are trying to find suitable homes for our books and articles.

Other Sources

The third category of the physical archives are mostly fairly ancient, often poor quality photocopies.  Many of these are photocopies of primary sources in the HRO or the National Archive, Berkshire Record Office or such like. We have put many of our transcriptions on-line with open access for family historians and school projects.  They are not hidden behind passwords since the copyright for the transcriptions belongs to the Society.

Digital Archive

The Society’s digital archive cannot be made available to all-comers since we have to respect the original owners’ copyright —   which can be quite strict and mostly involve payments.  Bona fide Society researchers can use it as a ‘closed user group’, but other researchers are invited to submit their questions so that we can provide them with the answers they need free of charge.

Physical Archives

Tthe Society’s assembled physical archive will all be at Winchester in the safekeeping of the Record Office, as will other privately owned Archives. More will be added as it is located and as owners can be persuaded to deposit it.  Once catalogued into HRO’s on-line database, this resource will be open to anyone.

We welcome offers of the loan of additional material, whether written records, photographs or other archival memorabilia, to add to this database. Yateley Society members who are interested in the history of Yateley and its environs may access to the material.

Other related pages:

Local History Resources