Published: 04 Oct 2017

The county’s historical records and photographs are being preserved to a high standard and can be enjoyed for years to come, according to an external accreditation body.

Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies (HALS) was awarded archive accreditation status by the National Archives, a UK-wide quality standard which recognises good performance in archive service delivery, at a ceremony held at County Hall this week.

As part of its statutory responsibilities, the HALS team store and preserve a range of historical Hertfordshire documents, photographs, maps and records, and their work has successfully met the national standard for the management of unique collections.

Hertfordshire County Council first made arrangements to care for historic records in 1895, only a few years after it was created and this function moved to the newly built County Hall in 1939. The oldest document held is a charter by Edward the Confessor conferring land in Wheathampstead in 1060, whereas the oldest map, of Digswell, dates from 1599.

These are just two examples of a wide range of documents, publications and images held from all over the county. By collecting, preserving and giving access to nearly 1000 years of history, yet continuing to collect new material, HALS acts as the county’s memory for anyone with an interest in its past.

Terry Douris, Executive Member for Libraries and Localism at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “This achievement recognises the high standards and excellent service that the team, comprising of both officers and volunteers, offer to customers. It reflects all the work that goes into making these fascinating and important collections available for Hertfordshire residents and visitors to use and enjoy.”

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