Last week (10th to 14th December) Flintshire Record Office was closed to the public for Stocktaking Week. This provided the opportunity for staff to catch up with back-room tasks for which there is insufficient time whilst the search-room is open. The event takes place annually and whilst the checking of our “stock” (the archive collections) is an important part it is not the only activity to take place during the week.
The first task undertaken by all staff was the annual Health & Safety requirement updating of all risk assessments for The Old Rectory building ensuring a safe environment for staff, visitors and volunteers. This involves evaluating all strongrooms, offices and outbuildings and varies from checking lighting to assessing tripping hazards.
On Tuesday all staff from Flintshire visited Denbighshire Archives at Ruthin for a joint meeting to discuss further ways we can work together. A very productive workshop saw many ideas coming to light which you will be hearing about in the near future. This also allowed Flintshire Record Office staff to see how things are done at Denbighshire and staff who hadn’t visited before were given a guided tour of The Old Gaol.
For the rest of the week members of staff worked both individually and in teams to achieve a variety of tasks including: box checking collections, marking up access restrictions, checking, repackaging and reboxing collections, moving library stock, relocating new accessions, labelling and rearranging collections. Where appropriate CALM was then updated with the additional restriction and location information.
In addition to this our Conservator carried out a survey of the strong rooms within the main record office building to assess the preservation packaging requirements of our collections. This year the main purpose was to be able to target new accessions that have come in to the strong rooms in poor quality boxes. Some loose items not already in boxes were given bespoke phase boxes or folders. This will help to reduce the abrasion suffered between items when handling and moving things on the shelves.
A busy week was completed by a tip run to recycle many cardboard boxes and to dispose of old, damaged display boards and a broken chair!