Berwick archives available online
25 Feb 2021
Berwick’s history will now be available to be viewed online thanks to a project funded by The National Archives.
For the last two years Berwick Record Office, part of Northumberland Archives, has been working on getting all 9,500 records which make up the Berwick Borough Archives Collection, online. The catalogue entries will go live on Fri (Feb 26) on www.northumberlandarchives.com
The collection charts the history of the border town from the 16th-20th century providing information about this unique settlement, pivotal in both English and Scottish history. The records include information on Tudor Berwick when it was garrisoned by soldiers and controlled by the Crown until it officially became part of Northumberland in 1974.
Known as the Twixt Thistle and Rose project the collection covers topics including crime and punishment, public health, guild of freemen, shipping and railways as well as providing a wonderful resource for local and family historians wanting to research the settlements of Berwick, Tweedmouth and Spittal.
The Twixt Thistle and Rose Project was one of the first to be awarded Archives Revealed funding by The National Archives and has been supported locally by the Berwick Guild of Freemen and the Friends of Berwick and District Museum and Archives as well as over 30 volunteers who have helped with cataloguing. This is a major project for the Berwick Record Office which operates as part of the Northumberland Archives. It enables the catalogue of its major deposit of records to be accessible online and opens the potential of the records for research and interpretation.
Over the following months additional content, developed by volunteers, will be added to the collection.
Cllr Jeff Watson, cabinet member for archives at Northumberland County Council said: “Making our archives more accessible to a wider audience is a key priority for the service, particularly in current times when our research centres have had to remain closed.
“Putting them online allows the stories of Northumberland, and in this case the fascinating story of Berwick to be shared far and wide.”
Cllr Catherine Seymour, ward councillor for Berwick North, has supported and is a member of the Twixt project, said: “Berwick has about 500 years of rich archival material that we are so fortunate to have at our fingertips. To put our extremely interesting history and well-preserved records available online will help us to tell its story and allow more people to research their own family history and that of our historic town.”
To celebrate this milestone in the project, the archives service is holding a free Twixt Thistle and Rose mini online conference on Saturday March 6 from 10am to noon. The conference will highlight the work that has been done, tell some of the stories which have been uncovered and outline some of the future plans.
Booking can be made via Eventbrite - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/northumberland-archives-30770439808