We thought you’d like to meet more members of our team.
Lyn and Jo are two of the many people working on the Unlocking the Bankes archive project. We asked them a few questions so you can get to know them. Here’s what they said:
What is your role in the project?
Lyn: I spend my time at Dorset History Centre looking in boxes of papers, letters, artwork, maps and plans from the Bankes collection, and putting a few details about their content and description onto a spreadsheet. This will enable people who are searching for particular information about the Bankes family or their properties to be able to access the information they require.
Jo: I’m also on the cataloguing team, inputting data on the documents and giving them a reference number. For several months I catalogued the parliamentary memoirs of Henry Bankes II from 1797 – 1833.
Why do you volunteer for the project?
Jo: The Bankes family were a prominent family in Dorset and I have become very interested in the part they played in the history of Dorset. I have been a volunteer at Corfe Castle for many years and I hope that I would learn more about them on a personal and historical level.
Lyn: I have always liked history and in particular social history, I heard about the project via a friend and applied to Dorset History Centre. I had also recently taken early retirement from a busy career and was keen to keep the grey matter working!
What has been your favourite part of your role so far?
Jo: Cataloguing the parliamentary memoirs of Henry Bankes II. They have provided a fascinating insight into British and World history, documented by someone who was living through and having a part in the events of the time and who knew many of the people who shaped British politics and history.
Lyn: Tea break!…. but seriously, every new box I delve into brings something new. Some are very interesting, others less so. A highlight was when I unrolled some beautiful watercolour patterns hand painted by William Bankes. They were amazingly detailed and we all spent a while just looking and admiring them. It is also good to meet other people with a similar interest in local history and genealogy and learn a little of how Dorset History Centre works.
What do you hope the project will achieve?
Lyn: I hope the project will enable people with an interest in the Bankes family and any of their many properties (from tiny cottages to Kingston Lacy House) to find what they would like to read about and research for themselves.
Jo: That the archive will be accessible to all especially to those who have an interest in our past, whether it’s a personal interest, general, academic research, parliamentary history, social reform, estate management etc.
If you could go back to any period in time, when would it be?
Lyn: Well, I would like to go back to the 1700’s, just for a quick look, to see what my own ancestors were like but not for too long…..I like my comforts of the modern age, toilets, electricity, etc!
Jo: The medieval period
In three words, describe what it is like to work on the project:
Lyn: Fun, interesting and friendly
Jo: Rewarding, interesting and privileged