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Archive service back in business

A cutting edge new home for Herefordshire’s archives has opened its doors to researchers and other visitors.  Set within the Rotherwas Enterprise Zone, the Herefordshire Archive and Records Centre will provide the county’s historical documents with ideal storage conditions for generations to come. Using the German passivhaus system, local architects Architype have designed an energy efficient structure that is the first of its kind in the UK.

In addition to the climatically stable archive store, HARC features a spacious research area; a separate meeting room for school sessions, lectures and community events and a well-lit exhibition space. There is also a state of the art archive conservation lab where specialist staff will repair documents and make them safe for researchers to use.

HARC is also the home of Herefordshire Council’s Archaeology and Historic Environment Record services and the Biological Records Centre is based there too.

Collections and Archives Manager Elizabeth Semper O’Keefe said: ‘We are excited to be welcoming our users to HARC and the first impressions have been very positive. This is a building with so many possibilities for future use and I want it to be a busy centre for local and natural history of which the county is proud.’

Volunteers played a vital part in helping to prepare the archive collections for the move to HARC and they continue to contribute now that the building is open. In the busy research room, volunteers support the staff by welcoming visitors and offering advice and support to those who are unfamiliar with IT research resources. There are also opportunities for volunteers to support the archive team in cataloguing and indexing archives.

There will be a chance to explore HARC during the Heritage Open Day on Thursday 10 September. Regular tours of the whole building will take place between 10am and 1.30pm an there will be talks by the architects on the energy efficient principles underpinning the project.

For further information about the archive service and the open day phone 01432 260750

Email archives@herefordshire.gov.uk

Web: www.herefordshire.gov.uk/archives

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