Archive Conservation Programme
5th May 2023
Barnsley Archives and Local Studies have an ongoing conservation programme to ensure that the 4,000 collections in their custody can still be safely used by researchers many years, decades and centuries from now. This programme is a crucial part of the work they do and is supported by Barnsley MBC, the Friends of Barnsley Archives and Barnsley Museums and Heritage Trust.
One item conserved in recent months was a conveyance document from the records of the Clarke family of Noblethorpe Hall in Silkstone. It details the sale of a plot of land called Cartroyds from the Lee family to the Smith family – for the princely sum of £100. It dates back to 1703, during the reign of Queen Anne. The Clarke papers are one of the largest family/estate collections held by Barnsley Archives, having been transferred to us from Sheffield Archives back in 2010.
Although very legible, the conveyance had a large tear running across the document which was likely to worsen if not treated. Thankfully, specialist conservation work led to the repair of the tear, as well as the document being unfolded and thoroughly cleaned. The seals attached to the document were also treated and a bespoke folder was made to house it. This work will ensure the long-term survival of this 320-year-old document, which can now safely be handled by researchers.