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Golden celebration for Teesside Archives

Leisure and entertainment

Wednesday, 10 April 2024
Middlesbrough Mayor Chris Cooke, Redcar & Cleveland Mayor Malcom Head, Archives Manager Ruth Hobbins, Archivist Lara Moon, Stockton Mayor John Gardner and Stockton Mayoress Paula Gardner

One of the cornerstones of the region’s rich history and heritage has marked a golden milestone.

Teesside Archives is celebrating its 50th birthday in style with a special exhibition running throughout April at its temporary home in Middlesbrough’s Dorman Museum.

And VIP guests including the Mayors of Middlesbrough, Stockton and Redcar & Cleveland attended a birthday bash and enjoyed a slice of cake in recognition of five remarkable decades.

They were joined by a representative from Arts Council England as well as other stakeholders from the four Teesside local authorities that jointly fund the service.

The Archives were established in 1974 to collect, catalogue and preserve historical documents relating to Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool and Redcar & Cleveland and make them available for the public.

This special anniversary exhibition at the Dorman showcases a selection of the exciting records held in the collection.

A single member of staff based at a desk in Middlesbrough Reference Library has grown into a six-strong team including a professional conservator, two professional archivists, a community engagement officer and two archive assistants.

The Archives continue to move with the times, and in addition to collecting and preserving physical records the team is addressing the growing issue of preserving digital records.

Archivist Lara Moon said: “The last few years have been very challenging for us, so it’s lovely to be able to celebrate something positive.

“Our service may be changing but our priority will always be the preservation of our collections for future generations.

“A lot of hard work has gone into creating our first exhibition and it’s been a wonderful way for us to celebrate our area’s amazing history and heritage.”

Richard Horniman, Middlesbrough Council’s Director of Regeneration, said: “Teesside Archives is an extraordinary institution, and that’s only fitting for an extraordinary area with such a rich and important history.

“There have been many challenges over the years, but thanks to the tireless hard work of staff, our dedicated team of volunteers and the continued support of our partners, it is still going strong after 50 years.

“Its current home may be temporary, but there’s a big future ahead for the Archives and we’re already looking forward to the next 50 years.”