New Acquisitions and Resources at the Archives
Newly Available Archival Material
One of the roles of Doncaster Archives and Doncaster Local Studies Library is to acquire books and original documents, whether by gift, deposit, purchase, or transfer. Our intention is to use this page to promote the items that have recently been acquired by Doncaster Archives and to give a short description of their scope and content.
Details of items newly acquired by Doncaster Local Studies Library can be found by using the link shown in the left-hand column of this page.
Though additions to records of the parishes within the archdeaconry of Doncaster have been few, two additional registers have been received from Doncaster St George - now Doncaster Minster - which provide another decade's worth of baptism and marriage entries to bring the record up to the mid 1940s. In addition a notable quantity of material has been acquired on deposit from the benefice of Airmyn, Hook and Rawcliffe, with the last-named component, the parish of Rawcliffe, yielding up a good series of PCC minutes and a variety of other papers, including some constable's papers of early eighteenth century date. Nonconformist churches of Doncaster and its hinterland have continued to be a source of archival material in recent months. Sprotbrough Methodist Church minutes spanning the period 1974-2004 have been added to the existing series, whilst records retrieved from the now-closed Balby Road Methodist Church have now been put in our safekeeping.
With the assistance of generous funding from the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Friends of the National Libraries, Doncaster Archives has been able to purchase a collection of deeds relating to the estates of the Fountayne and later Montagu family of High Melton. These muniments, held on deposit at Sheffield Archives from 1968 until 2009, date mostly from seventeenth to the twentieth centuries and give exceptionally good coverage of the copyhold land in Conisbrough held by the Montagu family.
The archives of the former South Yorkshire County Council, which was set up in 1974 and abolished in 1986, included a quantity of record material that concerned Doncaster in particular, rather than the whole county. Along with the rest of the SYCC collection these records had been kept at Sheffield City Archives after 1986. Last year, however, these Doncaster-specific archives were identified and, thanks to the good offices of the staff of Sheffied Archives, transferred to Doncaster Archives. The bulk of this material originated in the former Doncaster Borough Police and the Doncaster Coroner's Court. Permission is likely to be needed to view either of these sets of records; Doncaster Archives staff will advise as to how this can be obtained.
Another notable acquisition has been the cash disbursement book of George Cooke of Bridgefoot, Bentley, a member of one of the most prominent local landowning families, the Cookes of Wheatley. The book records his personal expenditure 1738-1763 and in so doing supplies a wealth of detail about the day-to-day activities of a gentleman of the period.
Microfilm and microfiche copies of planning applications made to the Urban District Councils of Adwick, Bentley, Conisbrough, Mexborough, and Tickhill, and the Rural District Councils of Doncaster and Thorne, covering the period 1947-1974, were transferred to the Archives in the spring of 2007. By using the plotting sheets (i.e. large-scale OS plans with annotations) supplied by the planning department it is possible to find the number of any given planning application from this twenty-seven year period. The films and fiches have now been catalogued and the appropriate spool of film or envelope of fiches can normally be found and produced in the reading room without difficulty. We would, however, recommend that an appointment be made to view planning applications, in order to ensure that one of our microfiche/microfilm readers is available. Prospective readers should note that applications to the County Borough of Doncaster for this period remain with the present Doncaster Council's Planning Department, contact details for which can be found on the Planning pages.
New Catalogues and Indexes
Another role is to make the archives, whether newly acquired or already part of our holdings, as readily accessible as possible, by cataloguing and indexing. Items become available for use once this preparatory work has been completed.
Early in 2007 the index to the register of deaths for the borough of Doncaster 1875-1939 was completed and made available for public use. In December 2007 were added the indexes to the registers of deaths for the urban districts of Balby with Hexthorpe and Wheatley. The medical officers of health for these two local authorities both began these registers in 1903 and continued to maintain them until 1914 when the two urban districts were absorbed into the Borough of Doncaster. These indexes have been printed and bound and placed in our reading room alongside the existing index for Doncaster.
The index to our holdings of maps and plans has been transferred from loose papers and been printed and bound for use in our reading room. This is a comprehensive index, arranged alphabetically, by place-name, to maps and plans in all catalogued collections held under our roof.
It is similar in that respect to the photograph index, which has been available in a printed version for more than five years. The photograph index has, however, gone one stage further: it is now available online, as Stage One of what is close to becoming an all-embracing Place-Name index to all of our catalogued archival material. Work on Stage Two, which will cover all other parts of our archive holdings, is complete for all locations outside the boundaries of Doncaster proper. Work on producing an index for the town and parish of Doncaster - roughly equivalent to the old county borough of Doncaster - continues (August 2010).