Fascinating Family Photograph Album Added to Barnsley Archives

21st March 2024

Barnsley Archives and Local Studies have an ongoing conservation programme to ensure that the 4000 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 we do and is supported by Barnsley MBC, the Friends of Barnsley Archives and the Barnsley Museums and Heritage Trust.

Here Paul Stebbing, Archive and Local Studies Manager tells us about one of the latest additions to the collection.

‘During 2023 we were thrilled to have donated to us the family photograph album of Francis Scott-Smith (1870-1940) of Banks Hall in Cawthorne. He was the Managing Director of Fox’s Steel Works in Stocksbridge and his wealth allowed him to travel extensively. The album contains early 20th century photographs taken all over the world, but of particular interest are those photographs taken locally – principally at Banks Hall and Cannon Hall. Such is the uniqueness of the album and the images it contains, it actually featured in a television documentary a few years ago. We are so grateful that the owner of the book and star of the documentary has now chosen to pass it to us for safe-keeping.

Our immediate concern was that the album needed some conservation work to make it available to researchers. So the conservator replaced the original boards, repaired the spine, thoroughly cleaned the album, made sure loose items were re-attached, and finally made a bespoke box. He commented that it was one of the nicest individual items he’d ever worked on, and we’d certainly consider it to be one of our collection ‘gems’. We are looking forward to undertaking more research into the album and sharing the contents more widely later this year. In particular, the photographs of Cannon Hall will add to our knowledge of the hall and the Spencer-Stanhope family who lived there.’

Fascinating Family Photograph Album Added to Barnsley Archives