We are always looking to make the records we hold as accessible as possible, particularly those which you cannot search for by keyword in our catalogue, Discovery. And we are experimenting with new ways to do it.
The Treasury series, T1, is a great example of a series which holds a rich source of information but is complicated to search. T1 covers a wealth of subjects (from epidemics to horses) but people may overlook it as most of it is only described in Discovery as a range of numbers, meaning it can be difficult to search if you don’t know how to look. There are different processes for different periods dating back to 1557 so we chose to focus on records after 1852. Accessing these records requires various finding aids and multiple stages to access the papers. It’s a tricky process to explain in words so we thought we’d try demonstrating it.
We wanted to show people how to access these hidden treasures, by providing a visual aid that would work in conjunction with our written research guide. Armed with a tablet and a script, we got to work creating a video.
Our remit was:
- to produce a video guide no more than four minutes long
- to improve accessibility to these records through a simple, step-by–step process
- to highlight what the finding aids and documents actually look like
These records can be useful to a whole range of researchers, from local historians to military historians to social historians, given that virtually every area of government action involved the Treasury at some stage. We hope this new video, which we intend to be watched in conjunction with the written research guide, will also be of use to any researchers who are new to the Treasury records.
Adding video guides to our written research guides are a new venture for us and so we are very keen to hear your feedback. Did you find it useful? Do you like the film format? Do you have any suggestions or improvements? Let us know by leaving a comment below!