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William Salt library not fit to store archives

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: November 18, 2012

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TWO of Stafford’s historical archives could be combined under one roof to improve access for visitors and boost storage conditions.

The William Salt Library’s services and archives could move to the Staffordshire Record Office under plans being considered by Staffordshire County Council.

Both venues are currently located in Stafford’s Eastgate Street.

Library users are being urged to have their say on the proposals, which the council has said would provide a better visitor experience, a more accessible venue and a better storage environment for the records and materials currently stored at the library.

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It would also extend the library’s opening hours to include Friday and Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings.

The building that currently houses the library - a private facility administered by a charitable trust which receives support from the county council - is a listed Georgian town house.

The building does not provide the right standard of storage conditions for the fragile documents stored there, the council has said.

It is also not fully accessible, with disabled visitors having to access the building via the rear of the premises.

Robin Manners, chairman of the William Salt Library Trust, said: “There is a very strong case for the principle of merging the William Salt Library collection and the Record Office’s collections to form a single new service which will be to the benefit of users of both services.

“The proposals, if agreed, would mean that part of the collection would be stored on the Staffordshire Record Office site with a mix of open access and production of items from the strongrooms. Other less requested items would be stored off site.

“The library continues to grow, adding books, pamphlets and other items which relate to the history of Staffordshire, so additional space will continue to be needed.”

Anyone who would like to have their say on the proposals can complete a survey at the library or record office during November or online at http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/leisure/archives/will iamsalt/home.aspx.

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