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Community Archives and Heritage Awards 2014

‘Most Inspirational’ Community Archive and Heritage Group

The winner is the Jura Development Trust for ‘Jura Lives’.

Jura Lives was also awarded overall Community Archive and Heritage Group of the Year.

‘Most Innovative’ Community Archive and Heritage Group

The winner is Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey.

The Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey is a volunteer led project established in 2010 to undertake the first large scale systematic survey of early graffiti inscriptions in English churches. When the project started it was believed that early graffiti inscriptions were relatively rare; now it is clear that such inscriptions are present in over 65% of English churches. The judges were impressed with the significance of the project which has now been copied in four other counties with new surveys planned in a further three counties; the extent of voluntary participation with over 200 volunteers taking part in Norfolk from a range of backgrounds including volunteers with a previous history of mental health problems; and with the accessibility of the group’s website which will be of interest beyond the archaeological community. The judges praised the real successes of those who had tackled this ‘new line of historical research’. ‘Even with no knowledge of the subject, this work drew us in and inspired us’. ‘It really didn’t all start with Banksy! ’ they noted.

‘Best New’ Community Archive and Heritage Group of the Year

The winner is My Primitive Methodist Ancestors based at Englesea Brook Museum in Crewe

My Primitive Methodist Ancestors project is based at the Englesea Brook Museum and is supported by the museum’s project director. Launched in June 2012 the project provided a ‘one stop shop’ to bring together and make available information about Primitive Methodism, its buildings, people, and contribution to community life and the trade union movement through a virtual archive. The website now has over 2000 pages and 258 registered users; it has attracted over 31,000 visits from more than 20,000 unique visitors from 65 countries. The judges noted their admiration for two further entries: Paganel Archives and Pecket Learning Community. Paganel Archives, based in a state primary school is the first such archive to be listed on the national ARCHON register. Pecket Learning Community, whose members have various learning difficulties, have established a web-based archive about their community.

The judges did not this year make an award in the Website of the Year category. In the 2014 awards there were three category winners and the judges gave special mention to two further entries.

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