We visited the impressive Area Archive Centre at Wickham Market this week. The visit was arranged by executive member Stephen Poulter who leads the Needham & Brockdish Community Heritage Project . Our aim was to learn from their 25 years experience of building a local archive. We were greeted warmly by the organising team and Ray Whitehead, the Archive Custodian, gave us an hour of his time and patience answering our polite barrage of questions .
Their archive is currently housed in portacabins behind Wickham Market Village Hall, but they are looking forward to being rehoused when their new village hall is built. It is clear that we will start archiving our project with two clear advantages:
the excellent air-conditioned library room at the Waveney Heritage Centre is a perfect space
our archive will be digitised from the outset
That said, we learned a huge amount from our visit and Stephen came away clutching a sheaf of papers detailing the clear organisation that WMAA has developed over the last quarter century. One thing our project certainly will not be doing is reinventing the wheel…