Doncaster archives dating back to 12th century to be moved to new home at cost of £1.5m to improve public access and storage conditions

Cabinet has approved a plan to move the archives to the now former Doncaster Museum on Chequer Road following the opening of the state-of-the-art Danum Gallery, Library and Museum.

Doncaster town centre
Doncaster town centre

The move will happen in three phases and costs have been identified to renovate the Chequer Road site to enable the storage of the archives.

A report seen by councillors shows that there is a ‘16-year backlog’ to accession and inventory museum assets which have not been catalogued; three to five years worth of archaeological finds.

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In total, to make the archives ready and to be able to be stored at the new site, cabinet members agreed to allocate £1.5 million from the Capital Programme.

But cabinet member Nigel Ball said once the works had been completed, it would save the council around £123,000 per year.

In 1982, a temporary decision was made to relocate historical and public records into a former school building – known commonly as the Balby Archives.

Council bosses said the facility had poor public access and storage conditions that were ‘not fit for purpose’ and therefore reviewed in recent years, resulting in a number of archives being stored off site, whilst a new facility was identified.

Coun Ball said: “This investment will bring Doncaster archives, local studies library collection and the Doncaster and Family History Society together under one roof for access.

“This means residents have access to the extensive collection in Doncaster town centre and a planned completion date for all this is October 2021.”

Mayor Ros Jones added: “I’m delighted to see we are going to offer a significantly better service for people to look and do their research and it will be integrated far better and far more readily available.”