Hutt City Council Archives hold the corporate memory of Council from its earliest beginnings, as well as the records of Lower Hutt’s boroughs, boards and authorities through the years.
The Archives hold more than 90,000 Council-related items such as minute books, meeting papers, reports, rate books, valuation records, aerial photographs and building plans dating back to 1870.
City Archivist Jennie Henton and her team list and digitise archives so they can be accessed by both Council staff and the public. They also help the public find information like district plans, house plans, council decisions in the minute books and photographs from Lower Hutt’s past.
An important part of their work is researching and scanning the archives for LIM reports and for current Council projects. The Archives team carry out tours and talks and there’s an exhibition programme which Jennie and Council’s CBD development manager, Cyndi Christensen, hold in pop-up shops in Lower Hutt’s High Street.
Letters and correspondence give an interesting insight into the issues people thought were important through the decades. “There are letters from people to Mayors or council officers making a stand or advocating change. We get a really good view of some of the people who were speaking out in the 1930s, 40s and 50s on issues such as the rise of state housing,” she says.
A small band of volunteers help with listing, re-boxing items and updating the Archive’s databases and Jennie is keen to hear from volunteers who are interested in history, have good attention to detail or database skills. “If they have good research and writing skills, it means I can get more of Lower Hutt’s stories out there. In return we can offer training in archival processes and databases,” she says.
Interested in becoming a volunteer? Contact Jennie Henton