Lancashire County Council scoops a national award for volunteering

Monday, October 29, 2018

Lancashire County Council's archives service has won the prestigious Archives and Records Association (ARA) Volunteering Award for its Ancestors at Sea project.

The annual awards celebrate the outstanding contribution made by volunteers working within archives and records services nationally.

The Ancestors at Sea project received the accolade for the way it involved new volunteers to create a free and online name index of maritime records. Crew lists for international and coastal trading ships and fishing vessels registered at the ports of Preston, Fleetwood and Lancaster from 1863 to 1914 are now recorded.

Details of over 70,000 seamen from Lancashire, the UK and Ireland are included in the record. A significant number of European and international sailors are also featured.

The project was recognised for its ambitious range and aims. It was also commended for the professional way that volunteers of different ages and occupations worked together to carry out tasks including reading difficult handwriting, transcribing text, creating databases, researching, repackaging documents and making presentations.

The 17 volunteers who took part in this project from February 2017 to April 2018 gave 2,300 hours of their time.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: "I'm delighted that this project has been recognised nationally as being first-class.

"Thanks to the volunteers who gave a considerable amount of their time we now have a maritime record which has both national and international importance.

"The judges commented that this project was a clear winner in an outstanding field. I'd like to offer my personal congratulations to everyone who played a part in this project. Well done."

The volunteers will be presented with a trophy at a ceremony at 12.30pm on Tuesday 6 November at Preston Dock and Riversway Control Centre at Preston Marina. The trophy will be presented by Alexandra Buchanan, president of the Archives and Records Association.

Jacquie Crosby, archives service manager at Lancashire County Council, said: "I'm really proud of the volunteers who took part in this project.

"They've done a fantastic job and the record that they have created will be invaluable for many years to come.

"What they have achieved needed excellent project management skills. It has improved storage and organisation of the records themselves and made the information in them freely accessible through our online archive Lancashire catalogue, known as LANCAT.

"It is also so pleasing to know that two of the volunteers have got jobs as a result of taking part in this project."

The awards are sponsored by the Archives and Records Association (UK and Ireland). The Federation of Family History Societies and the Lancashire Family History and Heraldry Society are partners in the awards.

For more information about the Ancestors at Sea project contact Jacquie Crosby, Lancashire archives service manager by calling 01772 533028 , or emailing

For more details about the award, contact Jon Elliott at the ARA by calling 07587 635402, or email, or visit

For more information about the archives visit


Tagged as: Leisure and Culture Libraries and Archives

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