10 August 2023 is 75 years to the day when the first County Archivist, Felix Hull, started work at Berkshire Record Office. Happy Birthday to us!
We started life at the Old Shire Hall in the Forbury, Reading, moving on to the Berkshire County Council's Shire Hall near junction 11 of the M4 in the 1980s where we stayed until 2000. You can read more about our history online.
Our current home at 9 Coley Avenue, Reading, is 23 years old this year and we've celebrated our 60th and 70th anniversaries here with ample cake, so it seemed only fitting to do the same for our 75th! (image of said cake hopefully coming soon). Except that this time there is a slight difference as we are celebrating the fact that our name is changing too.
As part of our 75th celebrations, we applied to the Cabinet Office for a Royal title as Berkshire is England's only Royal county and we thought it would be a nice tribute to our service after 75 years. We are pleased to say that we were successful and so our new name from 10th August 2023 is the Royal Berkshire Archives.
It is a prestigious thing to be allowed to bear a Royal title and we are very proud of our new name. We will continue to collect, care for, share and promote the rich archival heritage of the Royal County as a joint service of the six Berkshire councils, Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, West Berkshire, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, and Wokingham.
And we will strive to remember, celebrate and appreciate the things that make Berkshire special.
Celebrations for our 75th will continue through an exhibition later in the year so please see our events page for details nearer the time.