One of the most significant historic maps of Draycott in the Moors is the old so-called ‘Tithe Map’ from the 1840s – but the original document is both fragile and at-risk. Would you be prepared to put up the money for it to be ‘digitised’ and published on the internet?
This is the latest method that historians have come up with for saving heritage documents.
Each time someone request to see old maps and handles them, they are damaged a little more. But a digital image cannot be harmed!
Creating a digital image of the old map, and then making it available to all (via the web), is a solution that Staffordshire Archives has decided to take up in order to save its most valuable and rare documents.
The earliest accurate maps of parishes and townships across this country are these so-called Tithe Maps of the mid-nineteenth century.
These record each plot of land (fields, woods, buildings, rivers, lakes etc), the name of the owner and the occupier, and the use to which the plot was put.
In Staffordshire alone there are over 250 of these maps; and they are all held in the Record Office in Lichfield. Most are big, but some are huge – over six feet across on each side!
However, to digitise all of them would cost over £20,000; and Staffordshire County Council’s Archives Service simply doesn’t have that kind of money for this sort of project.
So… historians are appealing to members of the public, to businesses, to societies, and to neighbourhood groups, to come forward and sponsor their own local maps.
And what of our own local map?
In fact, the digitisation of the Draycott map has not yet happened – because no sponsor has come forward.
Would you be prepared to dip into your pocket and do it? It will cost just £80.
If you are interested, click here for the details of how to donate and become a sponsor. Future generations will thank you…