Hertfordshire Record Office - early memories

By Susan Flood, County Archivist

Hertfordshire Record Office Searchroom, c1990
HALS County Hall CV folder

Does anyone remember the County Record Office looking like this?  This is the old archive reading room on the first floor of the library block at County Hall taken about 1990.

The room had been fitted out with book cases when the building was built in 1939 and had alcoves where some of the staff had to sit.  There was a long table down the middle of the room with a seat for the archivist at one end.  It was very cosy!  But in order to produce the documents from the basement stores the archivist had to go out of the room and along the corridor to bring the items from a small book lift.  I was much fitter in those days!!  I knew that if a rolled map reached from the floor up to my nose then it would fit into the lift.  Anything longer than that and the strongroom assistant had to carry it up two flights of stairs – this was particularly difficult when it came to the Watford tithe map nearly thirteen feet long.  When I first started to work in Hertford in 1978 we only had five microfilm readers so there was often a queue of people waiting to begin their family history research

However the room had a lovely feel about it and I am still in touch with staff who worked with me years ago.  Hertfordshire Archives  is still a very friendly place and everyone is welcome.

This page was added on 26/05/2009.

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