Introduction to Archives

In the belief that archives are the bedrock of historical studies, HAT promotes, encourages, helps to finance and generally supports the preservation, conservation and organisation of materials of all kinds – documents, photographs, recordings, film and video and digital files

Hampshire has one of the richest collections of archives in the country. As well major collections – at Hampshire Record Office, Winchester, and the city archives of Southampton and Portsmouth –  there are a wide range of smaller collections, associated with local history and heritage groups, museums and historic sites, companies, genealogists and other individuals, and families with significant archives. Some of these collections are of national importance.

As a matter of policy, HAT believes archives should be as accessible as possible to the interested researcher and encourages all forms of associated education, research, publication, exhibition and other forms of dissemination.

One of the great assets of archives is that they add colour and understanding to communities and their inhabitants. Almost every place – village, town or city – has a treasure-house of stories that illuminate its traditions, families and industries, its evolution over the years, and much more.