Going up to the Durham Record Office next week to see if we can find any more information about our large Victorian bookcase that came from a now demolished private house in Barnard Castle. A casual dip into ‘A History of North Eastern Railway Architecture’ by Bill Fawcett revealed that the house was built in 1877 for the secretary of the Tees Valley Railway Company. More importantly (for us) the book gives a reference to original building accounts held in the Record Office. These are listed on their website, and do include bills for joiner’s work. So if we are lucky, we may find out who made it and how much it cost.
It’s important in museum work to understand what you are dealing with, and the context in which it was made.
By Dr. Howard Coutts, Keeper of Ceramics