County’s past to be explored at Staffordshire History Festival

People are being invited to join a two month celebration of the county’s history and take part in an exciting programme of online events and activities.

The Staffordshire History Festival will run throughout September and October and is being organised by Staffordshire County Council’s libraries, arts and museum services.

This year because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the festival will once again take place mainly online and on social media, with a host of activities, videos, photo exhibitions, quizzes and craft activities. Some physical activities will also take place including exhibitions, talks, study days and roadshows, where people can have their old documents digitally scanned and recorded.

Projects exploring the Women’s Land Army in the Staffordshire Moorlands, the Archaeology in Mind, excavations of RAF Perton and Tamworth Castle’s Saxon Camp are amongst the topics up for discussion.

Staffordshire Record Office will also be hosting a series of study days on garden history, climate change and the Victoria County History.  Also, a new pop-up exhibition ‘A Case for the Ordinary – Staffordshire Asylums’ will launch at Burntwood Library on 20 September, before going on a wider tour of the county in 2022.

Staffordshire libraries will be offering recommendations for history books, eBooks, eAudio and eMagazines available from local libraries.  Local history authors, their books and how the county inspired them will also be showcased throughout the festival.

The Ancestry Library Edition website will be available for Library members to access at home, along with the online newspaper resource NewsBank; with some newspapers dating back to the 1980s.

Staffordshire County Council Libraries Chief, Cllr Victoria Wilson said:

“Staffordshire is an amazing county steeped in history and our annual festival is a great opportunity to celebrate and share it.

“For many people, the local library, along with our Archives and Museums service are the best gateways to learning more about family or local history.  Our teams have worked incredibly hard to pull together an inspiring programme for this year’s festival.  I would urge people to join in the celebrations, follow the activities on social media and enjoy the great content available.”

Other events include ‘Digital Drop-in’ sessions in Stafford’s Victoria Park, where staff from the archives service will be available to scan people’s documents and photographs to add to county collections and the Staffordshire Past Track website.

Film director/producer Jason Young will also be bringing a Black History Month themed programme of animated films and audio dramas, every Friday at 7pm, in October. The programme begins on 1st October with ‘The Cato Street Conspiracy’, a story of love, politics and frustrated ambition and the attempted assassination of the Prime Minister in 1820.

For a full list of events and activities check out Staffordshire Libraries service on Facebook and Twitter and Staffordshire Archives service on Facebook or Twitter.

People can also keep up to date with the festival by following #StaffsHistFest.

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