Mr. Donald Vincent, a Society member, has recently attended a series of study sessions at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Records Office in Stratford-upon-Avon. He has kindly submitted some comments on this local facility.
Firstly, unlike most county record offices these days, the private office at Stratford makes no charge for accessing a selected archive, nor does it operate a reader's ticket system.
'It is easy to ignore the existence of the Stratford Birthplace Records Office, which is in itself a pity, being of a smaller, more homely nature: it may well be that the researcher would get more chance to chat to the archivist on duty. While no criticism is intended of the county record offices, such offices are normally quite busy and the staff's time seemingly limited. The Stratford Birthplace Trust Office is not used by so many people cranking endlessly and noisily through microfilm records.'
The series attended was entitled 'Know Your Sources' and was intended for both the local historian and the family researcher. Each group is limited to twelve members, so encouraging a close-knit atmosphere, and the sessions are so formulated as to be of use to beginners.
For further presentations of 'Know Your Sources' study sessions, details may be obtained from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Records Office, Guild Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. CV37 6QW (Tel 01789 201816.)
Summer 1997 Index