Author Topic: Library of Birmingham  (Read 571 times)

Online goldie61

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,898
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Library of Birmingham
« on: Wednesday 05 September 18 23:38 BST (UK) »
Is there anyone who can visit the ‘Library of Birmingham’ for me to take some photographs of a few documents there please. This is one in Centennial Square I believe.

I have contacted the library and got this response
‘I regret to say that we do not have the capacity to run a copying or research service at the present time.’

So not only can they not do research there for you (it is the first time I have come across a depository of archives that have said this), but they can’t even just COPY anything.

They have web pages extolling their importance of heritage documents, then you can’t get at them if you can’t actually visit! As I’m on the other side of the world, this would prove somewhat difficult.
I suspect  ‘capacity’ means lack of funding!
What a way to support a major library.

The documents in question are Rent rolls and Court Rolls from the very early 1600s.
I can send refs etc if anyone is willing to go.
I would be happy to pay the photography fee (if there is one), plus a bit extra for your time.
(This system has worked well when other very kind Rootschatters have gone to Record Offices for me).

Many thanks indeed

I have put this on the Staffordshire Board as well just in case
Oops, Warwickshire. Thanks Carol.
Lane, Burgess: Cheshire. Finney, Rogers, Gilman:Derbys
Cochran, Nicol, Paton, Bruce:Scotland. Bertolle:London
Bainbridge, Christman, Jeffs: Staffs

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline CaroleW

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 56,215
  • Barney 1993-2004
    • View Profile
Re: Library of Birmingham
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 06 September 18 00:06 BST (UK) »
Birmingham is in Warwickshire - not Staffs.  Will ask moderator to move this post for you
Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Online goldie61

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,898
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Library of Birmingham
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 06 September 18 00:33 BST (UK) »
Birmingham is in Warwickshire - not Staffs.  Will ask moderator to move this post for you

Oops! Thanks Carol.
Lane, Burgess: Cheshire. Finney, Rogers, Gilman:Derbys
Cochran, Nicol, Paton, Bruce:Scotland. Bertolle:London
Bainbridge, Christman, Jeffs: Staffs

Offline smudwhisk

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 3,759
  • Smudgie (1997-2017)
    • View Profile
Re: Library of Birmingham
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 06 September 18 01:04 BST (UK) »
Is there anyone who can visit the ‘Library of Birmingham’ for me to take some photographs of a few documents there please. This is one in Centennial Square I believe.

I have contacted the library and got this response
‘I regret to say that we do not have the capacity to run a copying or research service at the present time.’

So not only can they not do research there for you (it is the first time I have come across a depository of archives that have said this), but they can’t even just COPY anything.

Not surprised really, they had their opening hours reduced drastically about a year after the new library opened because of council budget issues (and probably shouldn't have opened 7 days a week that first year anyway) and many of the other libraries in the city have been subject to closure/hours reduction/run by volunteers.  I doubt they have the staff to run the service.  Unfortunately due to drastic budget cuts in the last 10 years for the city council many services have been reduced drastically and others that were free are now charged for.  I suspect research and copying services aren't considered a priority.  While they could obviously charge, they would need to retain sufficient staff to be able to provide the service when required.  However much I value heritage and family history, as a BCC Council Tax Payer I don't feel in light of the budget issues that providing staff member(s) on the off chance of research/copying requests is a luxury the council can't really afford and would mean probably job cuts elsewhere.

That said, they are at least open longer hours than Northants Record Office ..... well the library opening hours are.

Unfortunately I can't help as due to mobility issues I've yet to visit the new Library.  Worth bearing in mind that for any willing to photograph documents, there may be a permit charge.
(KENT) Lingwell, Rayment (BUCKS) Read, Hutchins (SRY) Costin, Westbrook (DOR) Gibbs, Goreing (DUR) Green (ESX) Rudland, Malden, Rouse, Boosey (FIFE) Foulis, Russell (NFK) Johnson, Farthing, Purdy, Barsham (GLOS) Collett, Morris, Freebury, May, Kirkman (HERTS) Winchester, Linford (NORTHANTS) Bird, Brimley, Chater, Wilford, Read, Chapman, Jeys, Marston, Lumley (WILTS) Arden, Whatley, Batson, Gleed, Greenhill (SOM) Coombs, Watkins (RUT) Stafford (BERKS) Sansom, Angel, Young, Stratton, Weeks, Day

Offline smudwhisk

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 3,759
  • Smudgie (1997-2017)
    • View Profile
Re: Library of Birmingham
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 06 September 18 01:07 BST (UK) »
Duplicate post - Topics merged  I've commented on the one in the Common Room as I saw it first.
(KENT) Lingwell, Rayment (BUCKS) Read, Hutchins (SRY) Costin, Westbrook (DOR) Gibbs, Goreing (DUR) Green (ESX) Rudland, Malden, Rouse, Boosey (FIFE) Foulis, Russell (NFK) Johnson, Farthing, Purdy, Barsham (GLOS) Collett, Morris, Freebury, May, Kirkman (HERTS) Winchester, Linford (NORTHANTS) Bird, Brimley, Chater, Wilford, Read, Chapman, Jeys, Marston, Lumley (WILTS) Arden, Whatley, Batson, Gleed, Greenhill (SOM) Coombs, Watkins (RUT) Stafford (BERKS) Sansom, Angel, Young, Stratton, Weeks, Day

Online goldie61

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,898
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Library of Birmingham
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 06 September 18 01:47 BST (UK) »
Thanks smudwhisk.
There seems little point in having a library as a depository of books and archives, (and blowing tour own trumpet about your holdings as a source of 'Heritage Archives'), if you can only access them in person.
It's not the 1950s.
In 2018 one would expect there to be some form of remote access as in most other Record Offices and libraries.
The same day I wrote to Keele University Library, and not only got a reply by return, but the kind person there had pulled out all the documents I was interested in (I was happy to pay for copying), to see if there was anything pertinent in them to what I was researching (there wasn't).
And the University of Los Angeles, who hold some fascinating old English documents (I guess they just bought them as various sales etc thinking they would be interesting - who knows how much stuff has left the shores of the UK), not only wrote back almost by return, but sent lots of digital images - all at no cost whatsoever.

I'm not sure 'research and copying' would be 'on the off chance' as you say. Surely that's what the 'Heritage Archives' part is there for?

Perhaps I should have a go at Birmingham City Council!! :D
Shouldn't think it would get me anywhere though.

Lane, Burgess: Cheshire. Finney, Rogers, Gilman:Derbys
Cochran, Nicol, Paton, Bruce:Scotland. Bertolle:London
Bainbridge, Christman, Jeffs: Staffs

Offline smudwhisk

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 3,759
  • Smudgie (1997-2017)
    • View Profile
Re: Library of Birmingham
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 06 September 18 03:25 BST (UK) »
I think the Heritage part is more to do with the repository and onsite access (albeit I'm not sure how much access there is to documents from the stores currently) not remote and research/copying services.  As has been evidenced in the last year relating to Northampton RO, it doesn't really matter what political flavour the council is, most are suffering severe funding issues.  Universities aren't really a good comparison, as they tend to have more money anyway, and their libraries are more geared up for research and copying facilities.  I'm not getting into any discussion regarding politics and local government funding as it always gets heated.

As evidenced last year when Northants CC wanted to charge a high fee for onsite access to the archives (let alone remote access/copying) to cover funding shortfalls for Archives staff, the uproar over the level of charges caused a change of direction (for now anyway).  I doubt very much even if they had a member of staff fully occupied by paid research and copying, the amount they could charge would cover the costs for such a staff member and lets face it remote access or facilities aren't a priority compared to onsite which is I suspect the minimum service level required by law.

Your profile doesn't say where you are based but if you aren't in the UK, you may obviously be not that familiar with local government funding issues over the last 10 years in this country.  I'm not apportioning blame on here one way or the other for the issues that exist, but its worth bearing in mind that provision of a greater service would fall on local council tax payers who, like me, wouldn't see why we should have to pay more for people who don't live in the area to have the nicety of access to resources remotely that are accessibly locally and lose other local services.  I shall leave you with that thought ...
(KENT) Lingwell, Rayment (BUCKS) Read, Hutchins (SRY) Costin, Westbrook (DOR) Gibbs, Goreing (DUR) Green (ESX) Rudland, Malden, Rouse, Boosey (FIFE) Foulis, Russell (NFK) Johnson, Farthing, Purdy, Barsham (GLOS) Collett, Morris, Freebury, May, Kirkman (HERTS) Winchester, Linford (NORTHANTS) Bird, Brimley, Chater, Wilford, Read, Chapman, Jeys, Marston, Lumley (WILTS) Arden, Whatley, Batson, Gleed, Greenhill (SOM) Coombs, Watkins (RUT) Stafford (BERKS) Sansom, Angel, Young, Stratton, Weeks, Day

Online KGarrad

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 21,966
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Library of Birmingham
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 06 September 18 08:25 BST (UK) »
It's fairly standard to be told "we don't have the resources"? :-\

I live on the Isle of Man; the Manx Museum and it's library no longer offer any kind of research service.
That's where I come in! Research requests are sent a list of Researchers who, for a fee, do the research. I am one of 3 Family History researchers on that list ;D

Even The National Archives will give a similar response.
Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)

Offline IMBER

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,837
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Library of Birmingham
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 06 September 18 09:42 BST (UK) »
As KGarrad indicates there will be people who will provide this service for a fee and the Library may be able to give you a list of names. Sometimes local family history societies offer such a service.

Imber
Skewis (Wales and Scotland), Ayers (Maidenhead, Berkshire), Hildreth (Berkshire)