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Record office archives go global with Google Arts and Culture

Published: 19 November 2019

Virtual exhibitions showcasing the fascinating stories behind collections held at our Derbyshire Record Office are now available to people across the world thanks to a partnership with Google Arts and Culture.


Derbyshire Record Office, based in Matlock, holds archives dating back 900 years and is used by a wide range of people every week, from students working on papers to people tracing their family trees.

Working with Derbyshire Record Office staff, Google Arts and Culture have set up a virtual gallery giving users access to a number of high-quality images and specially curated virtual exhibitions including letters from Florence Nightingale, a 1930s Shrovetide football and the earliest known manuscript recipe for the Bakewell pudding.

Also available is a virtual exhibition entitled 'The Last Voyage of Sir John Franklin', which tells the story of Lincolnshire-born John Franklin’s disappearance in an expedition to the Arctic in 1845.

The Sir John Franklin virtual exhibition, created in partnership with the University of Derby Public History and Heritage MA programme, tells the story through the letters and other records of his wife and daughter including one of the last letters sent by Sir John before he and his crew disappeared.

The new site on Google Arts and Culture have also given Record Office staff the opportunity to provide more information with each image, and because images are higher quality people can zoom in on items and study them in more detail.

Our Leader and Cabinet Member for Strategic Leadership, Culture and Tourism Councillor Barry Lewis said:

“The Derbyshire Record Office is a fantastic resource and holds a wealth of treasures in its archives.

“The partnership with Google Arts & Culture is a huge leap forward as it brings to life some fascinating archives, telling stories in virtual exhibitions and displaying items in much higher quality.

“By teaming up with Google Arts & Culture, the Derbyshire Record Office will be able to reach new audiences from across the globe who may never have come across the archives or items of interest any other way."