HISTORIANS from all corners of the county gathered in Winchester as Hampshire Archives Trust launched its new website.

The gathering at the Record Office in Sussex Street was one of the largest attended by local historians in recent years, and included representatives from Hampshire Field Club, Hampshire Cultural Trust and Hampshire Genealogical Society.

Following a nine-month project led by a small team of members on the trust’s board, the website is now fully active.

Opening the meeting, the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson, said: “I suggest to you that archives represent our heritage, our families, our buildings, our villages, towns and cities – indeed our very our roots, the fabric of our lives.

“In today’s world, families have become increasingly mobile and there is an ever-increasing interest in knowing more about, and identifying with, their roots.”

Chairman of the Hampshire Archives Trust, David Livermore, told the attendees that it was “heartening to see the growing interest in all kinds of archives”, and how it was the trust’s “resolve to enable correspondingly more research and helping to identify new opportunities for funding and volunteering”.

He added: “It was heartening to see so many people sharing our enthusiasm for research into our rich heritage. There is so much more archival material online, that ever more people are discovering the satisfaction of exploring the past.

“Our new website is a treasure trove of stories from the archives that cover Hampshire’s rich heritage.

“It provides a new window on all these resources and will, we hope, encourage more groups to apply for grants.”

The website can be found at: www.hampshirearchivestrust.co.uk/.