Our Archives are open again

The Royal Mail Archive Search Room is now open to visitors again after two weeks of stock taking. During this time members of staff have been carrying out an audit of archive files created during the 1970s and 1980s, which are currently waiting to be appraised.

Checking files

Checking files

This involves:

  • Checking files to make sure that none are missing;
  • Sorting files into reference number order to make them easier to find;
  • Re-boxing files (the old boxes have a nasty habit of splitting and spilling their contents);
  • Listing files so that they can be retrieved and appraised.

This can only be done during Stock Take when the Search Room is closed because of the amount of space required.

Sorting files in to order

Sorting files in to order

The task went extremely well (even if it was physically exhausting – no need to go to the gym!).  By the end of Stock Take, it was estimated that about 380 boxes or 4800 files were audited, almost twice the number originally anticipated.

Checking files

Checking files

Valuable shelf space has been freed up, some missing files have been found, and files will now be easier to retrieve.  We have identified files that are ready to be catalogued and which will be made available to the public at the earliest opportunity.  The audit will also speed up the appraisal process for these files, many of which will become part of The Royal Mail Archive in the future.

All in all, a job well done!

Louise Todd – Archivist

In a future blog archivist Helen Dafter will write about another stock taking task, improving our Philatelic Library. Find out more about the Royal Mail Archive on our website.

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