The Essex Record Office (ERO) is pleased to announce its first ever Discovery Day in conjunction with Heritage Open Days.
Coinciding with the broadcast of the ninth series of popular British genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? The Discovery Day will be hosted at the ERO on Saturday 8 September 2012.
The guest speaker for the day will be professional historian and television presenter Dr Nick Barratt, who recently commented in an interview with Essex County Council about the positive impact television programmes such as Who Do You Think Are? have had on family history research: “We have seen a changing demand across the genealogical community. People want to go far beyond building a simple family tree, for example, they want to go into community history – they want to reconnect with their roots. So from that sense Who Do You Think You Are? has opened people’s eyes to the joys of history; it’s a new way to connect.”
The Discovery Day is about inviting Essex residents to the ERO to uncover their rich and varied local history. Behind-the-scenes tours will be running throughout the day, including a look into the work that goes on in the Conservation Studio. The tours will also include a glimpse of the ERO’s ‘Treasures’ – our most interesting, beautiful, and rare documents.
ERO staff have researched the family trees of five Essex-born celebrities – find out some of the surprising stories at the Discovery Day, including an actress, best known for her portrayal of a titled aristocrat, who is descended from a domestic servant.
Visitors can seek advice from the ERO’s staff, who can help them with their own family, house and local history enquiries or find out about Essex’s community archives and other local history groups.
County Councillor Jeremy Lucas, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Environment and Culture said: “The Discovery Day will be a good opportunity for all Essex residents, who may or may not have visited the ERO in the past, to come in and interact with the vast collection of resources. The history of Essex is both rich and varied and the ERO can offer both a novice and an expert something remarkable on every visit.”
The Discovery Day will run from 10am-4pm. All events are free, although places on the tours and at the talk are limited. Guarantee your place by pre-booking on 01245 244620. The ERO is located in Wharf Road Chelmsford. For more information including a timetable of events, please visit www.essex.gov.uk/EROevents.