Northumberland Archives are celebrating Black History Month throughout October, and have made several fascinating discoveries within their collections.
News articles, circa 1960, were discovered, following four chiefs from Sierra Leone who visited the Women’s Institute in Matfen. The chiefs were particularly interested in seeing what part women played in rural communities within the UK.
Another collection includes two photographs of tribe members in Africa, taken by a Northumberland missionary family who travelled there frequently, again around 1900.
A third discovery is a page from a baptism register for Eglingham St. Maurice, which highlights an entry showing two baptisms for 17 April 1778 – one of these being for a black male aged 15 years, a servant of Captain Charles Ogle, presumed to be one of the Ogles of Eglingham Hall.
Black History Month is a nationwide celebration of Black History, Arts and Culture throughout the UK and is this year celebrating its 30th anniversary.
Cllr Cath Homer, cabinet member for culture, arts, leisure and tourism at Northumberland County Council, said: “Our archivists at Woodhorn make fascinating finds within the vast quantity of materials that are held there. These details, which we are highlighting during Black History Month, are great examples of this. They demonstrate diversity and inclusion within our communities in Northumberland.”
Northumberland Archives will be sharing other collections throughout October on their Facebook and Twitter pages and are open to the general public Wednesday’s to Saturday’s 10am-4pm. No appointment is necessary but first time visitors must register and should bring ID – name, address and signature.
Northumberland County Council manages the county’s archive and modern records service. It is committed to investment in preserving its historical records, and plans are already being developed to increase public access to the collections both online and through outreach programmes.
The services also play a key role in strengthening the Council’s overall records management, ensuring that in this digital age, the local authority is able to control and govern the vast amount of information it owns.