The Birmingham Assay Office has launched its Assay Archives online, showcasing its historical silver, coin and library collections to the wider public.
After receiving a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund – which enabled the assay office to transfer paper records of its museum collection online – the public can now search through the assay office’s archives electronically.
The new archives, which have been catalogued with up-to-date photography, can be searched in three ways; simple, advanced and expert, offering greater control to the user.
Part of the Heritage Lottery funding was an ‘Our History’ grant, which was used for a special oral history project, involving interviews with past and present staff at the Birmingham Assay Office, including wardens, guardians and customers of the assay office.
The oral history project amalgamates the experience of 29 people from the office and Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, including former assay master and CEO Michael Allchin and managing director at WB The Creative Jewellery Group, Andrew Morton, resulting in an insight into the business.
The Birmingham Assay Office is set to host a launch event on June 19, showcasing the project.