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Exhibitions and events

The Archives and Heritage Service looks after over 11 million objects, photographs and documents which together tell the stories of Staffordshire's people and places.

Beneath our feet: How agriculture and industry shaped a county

Museum of Cannock Chase, Hednesford
Until Sunday 16 June 2024

The history of Staffordshire has been shaped by the rich wealth of resources found beneath our feet. In this family friendly exhibition we explore the rocks, minerals and soils found below the ground, and how these natural resources have helped shaped the county we know today.

You can find out about the people who worked in coal mining, iron working, pottery making and other industries which have altered the landscape. Large areas of Staffordshire are still agricultural, but these too have undergone great changes.

The extraction of these materials and the pollution from industry have affected the environment, but much is being done to heal the landscape.

Featuring objects and documents from Staffordshire Archive & Heritage’s collections you can explore Staffordshire’s past and find out what lies under foot. 

For opening times visit https://inspiringhealthylifestyles.org/centres/museum-of-cannock-chase/

Discovering the lives of Staffordshire's poor

Newcastle Library 
Until 25 May 2024

Between 2018 and 2021 Keele University worked with Staffordshire Archives and Heritage Service on the ‘Small Bills and Petty Finance’ project. Volunteers worked with academic staff from Keele to undertake in-depth research on the poor laws in Staffordshire before 1834. 

Archival volunteers worked on the surviving records of the poor law, and particularly the paper ‘vouchers’ collected in parish accounts. These were typically the receipts for goods and services supplied to poor people but paid for by the parish. They included lists of clothes and deliveries of fuel for people living in their own homes, and also the food bought for inmates of early workhouses. The project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and included research in East Sussex and Cumbria.

This exhibition tells the story of those effected by the poor laws. It will tour some of Staffordshire’s libraries over the next few months, showcasing examples of this research, covering life for poor people from childbirth under the hands of a parish midwife to burial in a parish coffin. 

You can find out more about the project, and the lives of Staffordshire’s poor on the project blog Small Bills and Petty Finance 1700 to 1834

 

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