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This is the project website for the creation of the  My Leicestershire Digital Archive .

This project was funded by JISC from May 2010 to March 2011.

It was initiated to bring together materials relating to the history of Leicestershire. 

The initial aim was to widen access to materials already in high demand.  These items include materials from the special collections held by the University of Leicester Library (UoL), the video materials held by Media Archive for Central England (MACE) and audio recordings from the East Midlands Oral History Archive (EMOHA).  The vast majority of these items had not been readily available to the general public. To access these resources individuals had to visit in person and request access on an item by item basis. There were three main reasons for this:

  1. The copyright issues surrounding the materials (particularly for video & audio works). 
  2. The fragile nature and rarity of some of the materials. 
  3. Providing the framework for coordinating and funding the production of a digital versions of the materials which can then be made available online. 

Once an initial archive had been created the second phase of the project was to work with local historians to identify lesser known items and collections, or undocumented materials that would be of value to researchers interested in Leicestershire and its history.  Two community organisations – the Leicestershire Industrial Heritage Society and Rothley Heritage Trust – were involved in identifying and contributing unique resources from their own and other organisations’ collections. The project team worked with them to develop and document the training and support activities required to facilitate successful community based partnership.

The resulting collection contains rare books, directories, photographs, oral history interviews, videos, maps and other resources covering selected aspects of the history of Leicester and Leicestershire from the seventeenth century up to the 1980s.

As well as enabling the exploration of Leicestershire’s history in their own right, these resources also illustrate the richness of the collections which the project’s partners collectively curate or have access to.

If you have any questions or comments about the Archive please e-mail mlda@le.ac.uk