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Discover British newspapers in Melksham Library – Wiltshire libraries celebrate Local and Community History Month

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MAY is Local and Community History Month and Wiltshire Council is celebrating local history with an array of events and exhibitions at libraries across the county. 

The aim of the month is to increase awareness of local history, promote history in general to the local community and to engage with the local community to help them discover how to find out more about and enjoy the county. 

Melksham Library will be hosting a free ‘Discover the British Newspaper Archive’ session on Friday 20th May, 2.30pm to 3.30pm. 

Organisers say, “The British Newspaper Archive gives online access to millions of newspaper articles from the British Library newspaper collections including articles from the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries and we’ll be showing you how to make the most of it.” 

Other events – which includes sessions on how to research your family history and the history of the local area – are running across the county through to Friday 27th May. A full list of events and booking information can be found on the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre website: https://wshc.org.uk/blog/item/local-history-month-may-2022.html 

Leader of Wiltshire Council, cllr Richard Clewer, adds, “Whether it’s your own family history or the history of our historic county, we have events taking place to interest everyone and plenty of chances to hear from local experts on some fascinating topics. 

“The county of Wiltshire has played an important part in our nation’s history since medieval times, as demonstrated by events and items still on display in Salisbury. The newly completed Domesday Book was first presented at Old Sarum in 1086 and Salisbury Cathedral contains the best preserved copy of Magna Carta. Produced in 1215, it is considered to be one of the most important legal documents in the world. The Cathedral also contains one of the world’s oldest working clocks (there are claims it is the oldest), which is said to date back to 1386 and keeps time to an accuracy of 2 minutes a day. 

“Understanding our history and how it has shaped our lives today can help us to become stronger and more cohesive communities today. I hope that people will take part in these events and enjoy discovering more about their past.”

Other events include:

• An Introduction to Palaeography. Trowbridge Library. Monday 23rd May, 2-4pm, £6

• How to Research the History of Your House. Devizes Library. Wednesday 25th May, 10.30-12.30pm, £6

• A Beginner’s Guide to Using Ancestry. Calne Library. Thursday 26th May, 2.30-3.30pm, Free

• Wiltshire Folklore. Chippenham Library. Friday 27th May, 7.15-8.15pm, £3

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