This page is an updated version of the article published in projectnews 7 (January 2005).
Archives are the Society’s biggest headache. Local history generates a considerable archive of material which requires cataloguing, researching and storing. While it is presently stored by the archivist, Alan Cooke, it is essential we find a more permanent place to house it, in order to facilitate easier access by both Society members and the public. The subect of a Tadley museum was first raised by Roy Bowman in the 1970s and TADS continues to hold that dream. Realistically however, if more permanent storage is not forthcoming much of this archival collection may have to be dispersed or destroyed.
The TADS archive has been growing since the founding of the Society in 1984. Through all this time TADS has acquired very few physical artefacts, with a display case holding a section of ‘wattle and daub’ walling being a rare example. In the late 1980s, when Leonard Pike’s cottage in Forest Lane was demolished, this sample of early building material was rescued for posterity.
A proportion of the archive comprises newspaper cuttings, whole newspapers (eg early editions of Tadley Gazette), commemorative issues and pull-out sections that have some historical bearing on the area, posters, newsletters (some from the Society’s beginnings) and committee minutes.
The books section is quite large. Some are personal recollections, others are histories put together by other local history societies and some historical secondary source material for research. Among these are two modern copies of the Doomsday Book covering Hampshire and Berkshire. Also held are some quite rare books
When the society is lent a book or significant printed/written item, having received the necessary permission, copies are taken and kept after the return of the item. This helps bring useful information into the collection.
The archive also holds copies of the various census returns for Tadley and the area starting at 1841, up to the latest release of 1901. Fortunately for TADS one of the members, Iris Stanley, copies and indexes each new issue.
A more recent addition to the archive is an expanding photographic collection now mainly held on CD. The purchase of the Society’s own digital camera has made it easier to keep-up with the challenge of recording the ever changing face of Tadley.
TADS has an open policy regarding the archive and any member can access the material. The only restriction is that material given for the Society’s safe keeping is not used by the Society and not released to anyone without the permission of the donor.
Tadley and District History Society complies with the rules laid down regarding the retention of data held by electronic means and the creation of data bases in the same medium.