Recorders of Uttlesford History RUH database
Recorders of Uttlesford History (RUH) is the collective name for a group of (currently) 35 Local History Recorders in the villages and towns of the District of Uttlesford in north-west Essex. The object of the Recorders is to record the present, and to help ensure that important artefacts, documents and other material relating to the past of their communities is safeguarded and recorded. The scheme has been in existence in Essex since the 1970s, but devolved into district groups a few years ago and these are now autonomous.
In 2006, with the help of a lottery grant, we launched a purpose-built database for the use of village Recorders in cataloguing their local history collections. This is known as RUH = Recording Uttlesford History. The in-house version is currently in use in most villages, but the online version is still being fine-tuned: initial entries relating to some of the villages can be seen on www.recordinguttlesfordhistory.org.uk. This website, hosted for RUH by Uttlesford District Council, also contains summaries of village and district history, local history publications and other useful information.
Many Recorders already look after large collections of material and RUH is enabling them to keep track of it. Once it is fully online, it will also become an increasingly useful research tool for internet users. In addition to this, RUH helps Recorders in other ways, by supplying information and advice, arranging workshops and lectures, loaning equipment for presentations and generally encouraging them in their vital work in villages.
RUH is already in Essex providing a successful local example of Community Archive work in action, a movement which is now spreading more widely and to which we are pleased to add our support.