Assay Office Birmingham has launched its Assay Archives online, showcasing its historical silver, coin and library collections to the wider public.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the public can now search through the Assay Office Birmingham’s archives electronically. The grant has enabled the Assay Office to transfer paper records of its Museum Collection online, creating the Assay Archives site with all items catalogued with up-to-date photography.
The new Assay Archives catalogue can be searched in three ways; simple, advanced and expert, to ensure users find exactly what they are looking for.
Part of the Heritage Lottery funding was an ‘Our History’ grant, which was used for a special oral history project, involving interviews with staff past and present, Wardens, guardians and customers of Assay Office Birmingham. The interviews are a unique archive of experiences, memories and voices of the Assay Office, with speakers including former Assay Master and CEO Michael Allchin and WB The Creative Jewellery Group MD Andrew Morton.
Assay Office Birmingham’s oral history project amalgamates the experiences of 29 people from the office and Jewellery Quarter. The result is a fascinating insight into a business that was founded in 1773 and has gone through times of significant social and industrial change.
As part of the launch of the Assay Archives and to celebrate everyone involved with the oral history project, Assay Office Birmingham will host a launch event on the afternoon of Friday June 19, showcasing the outcome of the project.