The Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archives Service marked the millennium with two types of event. We ran a series of monthly talks in 2000, looking at how the collections preserved by the Service illustrate historical themes, on topics ranging from the family and religion to landscape and politics. We also put on each month a small exhibition in County Buildings in Stafford, displaying records from the previous millennium, century by century.
A selection of images of the documents from these displays is now mounted here, to bring this material to a wider audience. The early and medieval documents show how the best survivals of records, substantially title deeds and related property records, stem from monastic houses in the period before 1200. Later medieval records include more broadly informative surveys and accounts, administrative records that reflect activities in towns and large organisations such as the diocese of Lichfield, with some information on individuals, workmen and tenants. Later still, in the sixteenth century, begins more regular and detailed recording of the lives of individuals, through surviving parish records. From the seventeenth century onwards, the selections tie in closely to national trends and issues, with items relating to the English Civil War, the development of canals to assist industrial transport, and the records of crime and punishment.