Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Essex Society for Archaeology and History: Our Online Presence

Our Online presence

In the last Newsletter mention was made of a new interim blog for the Society: www.esah160.blogspot.co.uk.  It has been created to raise our profile, ahead of a major re-launch of our website, with clear links to the catalogue of books held at the Essex University (including those in the ESAH Library), the Essex Places Names Project, our online bookshop (at www.blackmorehistory.co.uk/esah.html) and the new twitter account (https://twitter.com/esah160).   There are also links to the Society’s 2013 Programme of Events and membership application form. 

Content on the blogspot is varied with the most popular posts being news of history related events coming up across the county.  We have listed for the first time online the complete contents of the Society’s transactions from the earliest volume (in 1858) to the present day, providing links to articles which have been published elsewhere on the Internet (for example by the Colchester Archaeological Trust) as well as reproducing some items ourselves, especially from early volumes no longer available for sale from the Society because of their rarity. 

A blog allows us to produce items which cannot be produced elsewhere.  For example, a short video of the six bells ringing out from St Christopher’s Church, Willingale, following its augmentation (see Newsletter, Winter 2011) and, more information on the Probert scrapbook collection of Essex churches (see Newsletter, Spring & Summer 2011), now deposited at the Essex Record Office.  ERO A13366 is described as an “Album of cuttings, prints, photographs and drawings relating to Essex churches and especially to their restoration, compiled in the 1850s perhaps by T J Griffinhoofe, and formerly in the possession of Charles K Probert of Newport (bookplate).   [Revd Thomas J Griffinhoofe was Vicar of Arkesden from 1859 until his death in 1869, having previously served there as curate under his father.  When proving his father’s will in 1859 he was described as being ‘of Newport’]”.  A recently discovered index of items has been transcribed and uploaded onto the blog.

Another deposit to the Essex Record Office is “A13490.  – Catalogue Ref; D/Z 183 addl.  ‘An Act for Inclosing Lands in the Parishes of Farnham in the County of Essex, and of Bishop’s Stortford in the County of Hertford’, 1820; ‘An Act for Vesting the Estate of Sir James Lumley, Bart. In Trustees, for raising Monies by Sale or Mortgage thereof, for the Payment of his Debts’ [Great Bardfield], 1730; ‘The Case of the Respondent, Thomas Smee. To be heard at the House of Lords on 6 November 1745’ [Great Chishall]”.  These papers were discovered at the bottom of one of many boxes during book sorting in the cellar storeroom.

The blog and ‘Online Bookshop’ are able to give latest updates on the availability for sale of surplus books not required by the Society.  The recent book sales at the Morant Lecture and Colchester are an extension of this aspect of work.

The Twitter account, run by John Hayward, provides additional links both to the blog as well as news from other archaeological and heritage organisations.

The blog provides a new window to the world for our Society and we would encourage members to view it regularly, and to contribute by commenting online or sending any relevant material for uploading to me. 

Andrew Smith

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