A £4 million restoration to turn Derbyshire Record Office into a “one-stop shop” for the history of the county has begun. Miles of original archives, currently stored and presided over in the Matlock record office, will receive new “state-of-the-art” storage facilities in a two-storey extension to the heritage headquarters, linking documents, the entire holdings of the local studies library and the Picture the Past website.
“This signals an important landmark in the redevelopment of the record office, the home of Derbyshire’s collective memory and of its most important documents stretching back over many centuries,” said local Cabinet Member for Culture Andrew Lewer, who laid the foundation in a ceremony alongside construction firm Wates.
“We are bringing together all our important collections – and our expertise - under one roof to create a fitting centre for what is one of our key responsibilities as a council.
“The new record office will not only allow us to actively collect and safeguard Derbyshire’s history for generations to come, it will also create a better experience for visitors.
“Our collections are incredibly important to people both here and abroad, and I am pleased to be able give them the kind of high quality facility they deserve.”
The New Street centre will relieve concerns about the limited space currently available for thousands of maps and records. Preparation on the site, as well as refurbishment efforts at the existing Wyvern building, began in 2011, and the new office will unite staff currently working in separate buildings.
The record office is operating from a temporary building at County Hall in Matlock until the office is completed in March 2013.