How KAS Members can book a visit to the Kent Heritage Resource Centre, Smarden

Posted on Sunday, November 15th, 2015 and is filed under KAS News.

Kent Heritage Resource Centre

From January 2016 individual members of the KAS will be able to book a session at the new Kent Heritage Resource Centre (KHRC) at The Smarden Charter Hall to make fast high-resolution archive-quality copies of documents, books, maps and photographs etc.

For 2016 a charge of £10 per morning or afternoon session provides unlimited use of our state-of-the-art ICAM archival camera and includes technical support and guidance from KHRC staff, who can also offer advice on cataloguing and preservation techniques . User’s copied data will be transferred onto DVD or memory stick supplied by KHRC. The Centre also offers off-site back-up of user data on its local servers.

Session times are mornings from 9 am to 12 noon or afternoons from 2 pm to 5 pm., normally on a Thursday and Friday and at other times by prior arrangement.

Proof of copyright is the responsibility of the user who will be asked by KHRC to sign a disclaimer to the effect that the items they are scanning/imaging is theirs to copy or that they have the permission of the copyright owner to do so.

Appointments will be granted on a first come first served basis. Please quote your KAS membership number when applying (if you have mislaid your membership card contact Shiela Broomfield at
membership@kentarchaeology.org.uk for your number)

To book a session, email khrc@kentarchaeology.org.uk

iCam archival scanning equipment
iCam archival camera in use

The text of the article that was published in the November 2015 Newsletter follows

Kent Heritage Resource Centre at The Charter Hall, Smarden.

Saving Kent’s History

The KAS Records Branch was established in 1912. By the late 1920’s, early 1930’s, with a change in the law, many solicitors were throwing away Manorial documents, Estate Papers, Will, Inventories, conveyances etc. A County wide effort was made to save these by the KAS. They were stored for many years in Canterbury, before many thousands of individual documents were deposited on loan in the Kent Archives Office after WII, where many have been microfilmed over the years enabling many people to carry out research.

But now we face a similar problem. Over the years many Kent museums and local societies have been collecting documents and adding them to their archives. Members of the Smarden Local History Society have identified many such depositories where the documents lay uncatologued and untranscribed and therefore unavailable for historical research.

So we have a situation comparable to the 1930’s where thousands of documents are often stored in unsuitable conditions and collectively represent a vast store of information about the history of the people of Kent in the past.

We have seen in our own KAS Library how a relatively small number of people, with modern methods of scanning and recording can over the years make the contents accessible to the membership and the wider world.

The Kent Archaeological Society has now formed a partnership with the Smarden Local History Society to create a Kent Heritage Resource Centre where museums, local societies, the general public and members of the KAS can bring their documents for digitisation and release to the world the treasure throve of information about the history of the people of Kent.

Under the partnership, the two organisations will work together to provide practical help and guidance to local history societies, museums, schools and private individuals on archive management, preservation and digitisation at a new Kent Heritage Resource Centre opening later this year at The Charter Hall in Smarden.

The new facility will feature a state-of-the-art archival camera capable of producing high-output, high-definition images of, for example, documents, bound volumes, artefacts, photographs, slides, and maps up to A2 size, linked to specially developed indexing and cataloguing software. The purchase of equipment has been greatly assisted by a donation of £5,000 by the sons of our late Vice-President Joy Saynor, in her memory.

The Centre will offer expert advice on archival techniques and will provide options for users to carry out digitisation projects, with Resource Centre assistance where necessary. The Centre will also offer a data storage service for organisations seeking to back-up archives off-site. All Centre facilities will be available at nominal cost to users at The Smarden Charter Hall two days a week and at other times by prior arrangement.

More information about how you can arrange to take your precious documents along for scanning will appear on our website and in future newsletters.

Ted Connell

 

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