Collection of Historic Posters Online

The New Forest Heritage Centre has made its historic poster collection available to view on the New Forest Knowledge website. Volunteers have catalogued the posters and digitised them by scanning and using image composite software to stitch the individual scans together. The results are seamless. They put each of the posters into its own preservation grade sleeves to protect it.

The collection includes:

It also includes recent acquisitions such as a list of people entitled to vote in the election of a knight of the shire, the formal title for a member of parliament (MP) representing a county constituency in the House of Commons, for the parish of Eling dated 1878.

Explore the complete collection here.

Community Archaeology Resource Review

One of the flints found during 2018 excavation. Credit NFNPA

Across the New Forest like the UK, many volunteers and community groups undertake their own archaeological research and fieldwork.
Last year, the Authority commissioned Oxford Archaeology to identify and review guidance resources readily accessible to volunteers and community groups undertaking their own archaeological investigations. The research was undertaken as part of the Our Past, Our Future Landscape Partnership Scheme supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (now the National Lottery Heritage Fund). The results of the research are now released and published online.

The results demonstrate that there is a demand for simple ‘how-to’ guides with signposting to more detailed information produced by well-recognised and easily identifiable sources. The extent of knowledge exchange and local adaption of guidance resources has probably been underestimated, and indicates that the professional archaeological sector needs to do more to understand and aid the transfer of accurate, reliable and user-friendly information amongst community volunteer archaeologists.

Over three hundred and fifty archaeological guidance resources have been identified indicating that there is already a large amount of material readily available on a wide range of topics. However, there are some notable gaps in guidance materials, particularly on running projects and reporting and disseminating the results. There is an issue of knowing what has already been produced and searching for it. There are also some notable gaps in guidance materials, particularly on running projects and reporting and disseminating the results.

Online, there is a tendency not to refer to specific sources of guidance but to use Internet search engines to find information, although it should not be presumed that use of social media platforms and other online services is universal. Many community volunteer archaeologists still like to have written notes to accompany electronic media such as videos, and want to refer to hard copies of information when collecting data or taking a break from using screens.

There has been limited evaluation of the extent, use and impact of these resources prior to this study. This review has not involved ranking or critiquing existing guidance but getting an understanding of what exists, what is accessible and what volunteers and community groups engage with. It is hoped that this review will be of interest to the wider archaeological sector and help to inform the creation of new resources in the future.

The full report and supplementary documents can be downloaded from OA’s online library here:

For more information about the resource review please contact: or 01223 850515

Community Archive Forum

Community Archive Forum

Hampshire Archives and Local Studies

March 2 2019

Local history societies showcase their work and share experiences.

The Community Archive Forum provides an opportunity for local history societies and similar organisations to showcase what they have been doing; to network; and to share their experiences. It enables anyone with an interest in the county’s history to hear what is happening at local level and be inspired to get involved. The Forum is now a collaborative venture between Hampshire Archives and Local Studies and the Local History Section of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society.

With contributions from: * Milford on Sea Historical Record Society * Christchurch History Society * Ashburton Court, Southsea, research project * Hyde 900 * Hampshire Constabulary History Society * plus a panel discussion on publications. This is a free event, and places are limited. To book, please telephone Hampshire Archives and Local Studies on 01962 846154 or email no later than 25 February.

Event runs from 9.45am – 1.00pm

Click here for more information.

Community Archive Forum 2019 Flyer V2

Dig Burley

Can you help reveal the buried secrets of Burley?

Dig Burley is a community archaeology festival taking place in and around Burley during Easter 2019. It is a joint project between the Burley Local History Society, Burley Parish Council and the New Forest National Park.

Dig Burley will take place from Thursday 11th through to Sunday 14th April 2019 and feature talks, workshops and exhibitions. We are also seeking local residents and families who would be happy to open a small archaeological test pit on their property?

So if you live in Burley why not register now to join the fun? If you’re not a Burley resident don’t panic as there will be plenty of opportunities to visit and get involved in the project, also we will be looking for willing communities for future years!

We will keep you updated with developments as we build towards Dig Burley in Easter 2019 and you can join the conversation on social media with #digburley

You can download the poster here or the flyer here

What is a Test Pit?

A Test Pit is a small archaeological excavation, consisting of a square trench measuring 1m by 1m and up to 1m deep that can be dug by hand, by anyone, in an open space in their garden. The Test Pit is dug methodically, i.e. layer by layer, and carefully recorded, with the aim of identifying evidence of past human activity, usually by finding pieces of pottery and other material, or, if you’re lucky, archaeological features such as rubbish pits, building postholes or even wall foundations.

While we can learn a great deal about the history of our towns and villages through study of historical documents and maps, place names, aerial photographs and so on, archaeological excavation is often the best or only way to add to or confirm the results of such research.

The opportunity for large-scale excavation however, particularly within our established settlements, is usually rare and so the excavation of a collection of Test Pits, which can be squeezed in anywhere throughout a village is a good alternative. Test Pits are also a great way of allowing a community, with the help of professional archaeologists, to investigate its past history and learn a bit about how archaeological excavation works.

By collating the results from all the Test Pits the archaeologists will try to establish a general picture of the origins and development of a settlement, and hopefully find out something about the people who lived there.


A guide booklet and the ‘Dig It’ pack will be distributed to all registered participants and volunteers which will explain how to dig and record an archaeological test pit somewhere in your garden. It will include test pit templates,  step by side guide, recording booklets, photo scales and a list of equipment you’ll need.

The “Dig It HQ” (Wathen-Bartlett @ The Burley Club) will be open at all times during the event with support on tap, local displays, maps, communal finds processing space, finds ID tables and importantly a hot cup of tea and a biscuit. Everyone will be encouraged to report back their progress and findings throughout the project so that the project team can let everybody know what else is going on and allow you to watch the story of your village unfold.

For further details, comments and suggestions you can visit the Dig Burley page on the Burley Local History Website: Dig Burley

Or please contact David and Ann Etchells via: davidetchells(at)

You can see other projects that are happening in Burley such as the graveyard survey of St John the Baptist here: Revealing the Secrets of Burley Churchyard