Public Engagement Project - Get Involved

Bath Record Office – What they do and what the project involved?

Bath Record Office: Archives and Local Studies collects and keeps safe the archives and local studies collections relating to Bath & North East Somerset and its people, and provides free access for all. They are writing a funding application to run a small project on the theme of ‘housing, health and wellbeing’ in Bath and would love you to get involved. Please read on for further information.

Firstly, what are archives and why are they important?

Archives are documents in all shapes and formats, known as records, which are kept for their long-term importance. Individuals manage their own archives in the records they keep relating to their lives and experiences, such as photographs, letters, and official documents like a passport. At Bath Record Office they hold records of individuals, but also of local organisations, like hospitals, charities and businesses, and the council’s own archive.

The proposed community engagement project – Background

Bath Record Office is currently working on a Wellcome Trust funded project entitled ‘Building a Healthier City 2: slum clearance, council housing and renovation in Bath, 1890-1995’. The project started in January 2020 and will run for two years. They are cataloguing collections which will open up research into the relationship between housing and health, focussing on improvements to living conditions in the city.

They are creating an online catalogue of the records and they will repackage and conserve them, improving their storage conditions. This project will ensure that more than 100 years of Bath housing history will be accessible to all.

They want to use this opportunity to investigate how historic housing archives can be enjoyed by people in the area, to develop their sense of belonging and engage and connect with the places they live. The project will also give participants the chance to tell staff at Bath Record Office what archives they find interesting and suggest ideas for future collecting.

Benefits for those who take part

• Participants will be able to engage with the records for the benefit of their own health and wellbeing

• They can offer creative sessions using the archives if there is interest

• People will be able to engage with the past to feel more connected to the present

• There will be the opportunity to work with others on a shared project whilst developing skills

• Participants can meet like-minded people and just do something a bit different

Benefits to the Record Office

• Enable staff to engage with the wider community

• Improve their collecting policy

• Reach a more diverse audience and become more inclusive

Deadline and timescale

The application must be submitted by the 5th April and if successful, the project will take place in 2022.

How you can help!

They would like to hear from individuals, local groups and organisations who would benefit from being involved in such a project so please get in touch as soon as possible if you would be interested in taking part: 01225 477421 or