The purpose of the Lydiard Wills Project is to transcribe images of wills downloaded from the National Archive that relate to the St. John family (owners of Lydiard Park for some 500 years) and Lydiard Tregoze into easily readable typescript as well as compiling a comprehensive index of their contents.
The transcriptions and index will be held by the Swindon Museum and available to the public, historians and other researchers.
The Arts Society North Wiltshire and Kennet & Swindon have been asked to help and members of other societies are welcome to assist. Volunteering to assist involves being able to receive the image of a will, type up a transcription - often less than a page - and index and send the result back to the coordinator.
There is zero Covid risk and it provides an additional different occupation during lockdown. This project is a perfect way to spend your free time.
WHAT IS HERITAGE VOLUNTEERING?
The majority of heritage projects fall roughly into two categories, care of the collections and knowledge and access.
Care of collections The most effective way to care for a collection is to remove or reduce the threats to their survival. This is Prevention conservation. Remedial conservation is the repair of an object which should be undertaken by trained personnel.
How can heritage Volunteers help? Collections do not look after themselves, they need to be cared for. Curators, conservators, librarians and archivists do not normally have the time to carry out necessary routine tasks such as dusting, cleaning, packing etc. We can play a part by undertaking such projects under the guidance of professionals. They may be mundane or unglamorous but they are vital to ensuring the long-term preservation of our heritage and this in itself can be rewarding.
Knowledge and access
Britain’s Museums, Historic Houses, Libraries and Archives care for the very best and most significant works of art, archaeology, historical, scientific and natural history objects, artefacts, books and archives. These collections provide us all with a unique opportunity to both enjoy and learn. Their value to society is contained in both formal and informal learning but their importance is diminished if they are not accessible either physically or intellectually.
How do we help? The documentation projects undertaken by Heritage Volunteers significantly improve access to collections and archives, allowing curators and researchers to find historic objects and the information associated with them more easily. Research Projects where they may increase the sum of knowledge of our history by revealing information about individual items and documents.
Stewarding and Guiding provides a link between the public, curators and collections, they provide history and knowledge for the public, and feedback to curators which could improve viewing for the public and - importantly - enjoyment of a visit.