CONSULTATION has begun on moving Staffordshire’s archives from Stafford’s William Salt Library into a single centre.
A special drop-in session for residents will be held in Stafford on Monday from 10am to 7pm at Staffordshire Record Office in Eastgate Street.
People can also take part online in the consultation, which runs until January 31.
Residents are being urged to have their say on the proposals, by Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archive Services, to create a state of the art expansion at the existing Eastgate Street site.
It would provide extra storage space, improved storage conditions and a new search room with modern equipment and an exhibition space.
The service currently has three sites, Staffordshire Record Office in Eastgate Street, and the William Salt Library in Stafford and the Diocesan Record Office in Lichfield.
As part of the proposals a new service will be put in place at Lichfield as a Lichfield Local and Family History Centre within the Library.
Councillor Mike Lawrence, cabinet member for children, community and localism at Staffordshire County Council said:
“Our preferred option is to extend the record office site at the rear of the Eastgate Street office to provide a brand new public searchroom and two floors of storage above. We are keen to hear what people think about the plans and I would urge people to have their say. We also plan to make an application for a National Lottery Heritage fund grant to do the work.”
The William Salt Library is managed by the William Salt Library Trust which is a charity and is supported by the county council. John Giffard, chairman of the trust said: "The trustees want to ensure that the William Salt Collection is properly cared for and accessible to a wide range of people. We are really interested in seeing the results of the consultation.”
People will also be able to access the county archive records on the Findmypast website later in 2014.
The service holds a wealth of historical records dating back to the eleventh century, as well as documents relating to the Great War, including letters from troops and family members based on Cannock Chase and a WWI snipers manual.
The consultation can be found at www.staffordshire.gov.uk