Discovering other sections

I wish I’d discovered this years ago: other sections’ lectures and events are really, really interesting. I’d only ever been to my own (Industrial History) section meeting and it seemed a good plan to drop in on the others, just to see how they work and what goes on. Everything I’ve been to, I’ve really enjoyed – and found very accessible to the non-specialist/ non-archaeologist. Expert talks sharing the latest research, friendly meetings which are user-friendly too.

The last one I went to was Roman Antiquities, with Dr Peter Halkon describing investigations of an important site near Brough, close to the Humber. I had no idea how significant this area had been for early trade, though perhaps should have worked it out. Before that (as I blogged in December) there was the St Bees Knight at Medieval Section, the life and career of Thomas Green, head of a Leeds engineering firm, at Family History Section, and IHS about the future of Calderdale Industrial Museum.

There remains only Prehistory Research Section, which meets less frequently than the others. I plan to be there on 5 March when members will offer updates of their own work in progress.

I’d encourage members to go along to the sections. There is exceptionally good archaeology and history on offer there.


Rethinking textiles

Here’s news of a free conference, open to all (but you’ll need to book). It’s presenting new research on textiles and industrialisation, doubtless with plenty of local material. Textile history is bouncing back.

I’m giving a 20-minute presentation on my new work on early textile engineering in the north. There are lots of speakers, but I don’t yet have a programme.

Rethinking Textiles Yorkshire Edition

News – various

It’s been a busy few weeks and I am behind with my blogging. So here in brief is recent news:

Most of our stock of publications for sale has now transferred to D&M Heritage of Huddersfield, who are taking over distribution and marketing – the YAS website will be updated accordingly. The Parish Register Section will continue to manage its own sales. Stocks of YAS Record Series are moving to D&M later.

Publications Committee is coming to grips with the issue of digitising pre-2010 volumes of the YAJ, and potentially other past publications and items from our collections. The possibilities are endless, so we need to work out priorities and target our resources (human as well as financial) towards the most interesting and useful of them. What a dilemma, to have so much that is so fascinating….

Oh, and 2016 subscriptions are now due. Subs are an increasingly vital part of our income. Post is now reaching Claremont after Royal Mail’s new year blip, so no reason to hesitate!

And don’t forget to do your online shopping through easyfundraising . It’s painless and simple. Please have a go.



Collections move to the Brotherton

An update on our archival collections moving to Special Collections at Leeds University Library: There was a slight delay before Christmas, an indirect result of the Cumbria floods. Record Offices have reciprocal arrangements to help in a local emergency, and it seems that the rescue effort in Carlisle diverted resources away from our own move, which nevertheless is now complete.

Sylvia Thomas, immediate past president and previously archivist at Claremont, will present a training session in February to Brotherton staff, with a focus on our estate papers.

The university has appointed a YAS Data Migration Assistant on a short-term contract to scan and upload our handlists.

We will shortly be announcing a volunteer to take on Collections Liaison on our behalf, and we’re meeting Special Collections staff on 12 February to start to work out day-to-day practicalities of the role. We’ll also be thinking about collaborative projects working around our collections.


Posting things to Claremont

Some time over the New Year holiday period, an individual employee of Royal Mail appears to have decided that YAS is no longer at Claremont (despite a new secure mailbox which the hon. secretary fixed on the front gate before Christmas, and which other post has been delivered to by his colleagues without problems…). David went to the sorting office yesterday to see what was happening, and discovered that some mail has been returned to senders, marked ‘Gone Away’.

We have not Gone Away! If you happen to have had mail returned – and of course this is the time of year that membership subs are due – please can you resend? We apologise for the bother, but it’s really not been our fault. There will be a complaint to Royal Mail.

Claremont is now empty of collections but we are still in business there, for admin and meeting purposes, and will be for some time to come. If you have anything to drop in out of hours, the mailbox on the gate works fine.



Share your news!

Please let me know of any new publications or events – indeed, anything you think members would like to hear of. Our members (society and section) produce books, articles, reports, lectures, etc, etc on a multitude of different archaeological and historical topics. Especially if it’s about Yorkshire, it would be great to share the information here.

We had to take down the comments box from the blog as spam was becoming a problem. So please email with any developments you would like me to announce on the blog, or anything for the news section of the website.

It’s a busy week with meetings, and after Management Board tomorrow I’ll put up more information on what we’ve been talking about.


Pop-up archaeology lab in York

A free interactive archaeological experience and chance to see parts of an early Georgian building not normally open to the public.

ArcLab:York will open 9 to 16 Jan in the Robson and Cooper shop in Fitzwilliam House at 14 Lendal. The focus is on how archaeologists record and interpret sites and artefacts, showcasing the latest technologies.

To find out more or book a place on a tour of the building contact AOC Archaeology –

I checked that this event isn’t affected by the recent floods – it isn’t.


Claremont opening

Opening arrangements are somewhat different from normal in January. If you need to visit Claremont or have any query, please contact me or David Buck, Hon. General Secretary.

Back to the usual routine from 1 February.