Although every citizen is linked both to their local area and the wider world, political and military events are often translated and understood in a national or global context. Political decisions and wars inevitably affect lives at the regional and personal level. Official records like local Council Minutes are kept as evidence of the decisions made in a democratic society that demands accountability. It is important to remember that local governing bodies and official institutions influence our lives in countless ways that extend far beyond bye-laws and the maintenance of roads. Official local records document everything from one of the earliest known and recorded rules of a golf tournament, to the evacuation of School children during WWII, to the establishment of the internationally recognised Edinburgh Festival.
Records found in local collections can also document the experience of war and the impact of political events from an individual and personal perspective. Your local authority archives hold records such as diaries, journals and letters that illuminate local and personal histories in surprising ways. John Penn’s personal manuscript describes what it was like to ride a horse into the ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ during the Crimean War while sketches and anecdotes left in an autograph book by First World War soldiers visiting a local café provide a unique insight into a soldier’s perspective on military life. You can find out more by browsing through the ‘Discover the Records’ section or clicking on the links below.