The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

South Ayrshire Council reports record move for Ayrshire Archives

THE new headquarters of Ayrshire Archives will open on Tuesday 26 January at the Watson Peat Building, Auchincruive following a year-long move from their former site at Craigie Estate.

[The new headquarters of Ayrshire Archives at the Watson Peat Building, Auchincruive.]

Staff undertook a mammoth task to move thousands of unique and irreplaceable historical documents and important council records – which, if placed end to end, would have stretched five kilometres – that’s all the way from Burns Statue Square in Ayr to Burns Cottage in Alloway.

During the move staff also managed and dealt with 1196 enquiries made by e-mail or through the post.

Established in 1996 as a pan-Ayrshire facility by South Ayrshire Council, East Ayrshire and North Ayrshire Councils, Ayrshire Archives maintains and conserves a range of important historical records, documents and photographs.

Councillor Margaret Toner (pictured above), South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Leisure said: “Moving Ayrshire Archives to its new site at the Scottish Agricultural College was a massive undertaking. That so many records and archives have been moved so quickly and so securely is a huge credit to the staff there.

“Set in such peaceful and beautiful surroundings, Ayrshire Archives really does provide a great environment to explore and learn about the past and delve into the history of your family.

“With Ayrshire Archives working closely with Registration and Bereavement services to provide a complete family history service, I’m confident we have a service delivering a high quality resource to researchers, visitors and local residents alike.”

The re-opening further augments another Ayrshire facility, opened as part of the Burns Monument Centre in Kay Park, Kilmarnock in May 2009.

Much of the material formerly held at Ayr has been transferred to Kilmarnock, including Kirk Session records and Customs and Excise records. An archivist is on duty there every Wednesday to help with family and local history enquiries.

Records remaining at Ayr include county council records, a large map collection, estate papers and poor relief records - an essential resource for family history research.

To take full advantage of the service an appointment in advance of your visit is essential so that staff can plan the best support for your research. This can be booked by calling Ayrshire Archives on 01292 521819

The public search room is open Tuesday 9.30 am to 4pm but closes between 1 and 2pm for lunch.

In the afternoon documents cannot be ordered after 3 pm.

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