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Who are the Friends?

The Friends of Teesside Archives is an organisation for those who want to use and support our local archives. Becoming a member couldn't be easier - just click on the 'Join' button above!

Who are we?

The Friends of Teesside Archives is a society of people who use and support this region's archive service. Our members' interests include local history, genealogy, archaeology, architecture, social and industrial history, shipping and many other aspects of our region. This area, the former County of Cleveland, now consists of the boroughs of Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland.

The History of the Friends

The foundation of the Friends in September 2000 followed the dissolution of the County of Cleveland. When control transferred to the four borough councils of Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees, there was a fear that the Archives would be closed down. This would have been a tragic loss to the area and to a whole range of different user groups and individual researchers.

For more than a decade, our members have worked hard to support Teesside Archives in the important work that they do. We have raised funds for equipment and packaging materials. Our members have digitised photographed, indexed and transcribed important records to make them more accessible and helped the conservator to clean and repackage hundreds of boxes of records. We have also funded the purchase of rare documents about this area's heritage which, otherwise, may have have been lost to the region. 

Some funds have been used to purchase CDs of the national censuses and other items of interest. These are kept in the Friends' Library in the Search Room and are available for use by members of the public.

What do we do now?

The Friends have a regular programme of events for all members and volunteers, including talks on a wide variety of subjects, workshops, trips to sites of interest, and social events. A quarterly newsletter keeps members informed of developments and forthcoming events, as does our new website which was launched in April 2013.

We have connections to other local organisations; members of our committee represent the Cleveland and Teesside Local History Society, Cleveland Family History Society, the North East Film Archive and Teesside University, as well as many other sister groups.

We are always keen to expand our membership and to welcome new people to our Society. You don't have to live locally to support the Archives; we have members from all over the UK. If you would like to help, please click on the 'Join' button on the menu bar above.

As well as taking part in the social events, many of our members do voluntary work to assist the Archives in providing the best possible service to the public. To learn more about the range of activities that our volunteers are working on, go to the 'Volunteering' page.