Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society
The archaeological society covers the whole of the historic county of Buckinghamshire including Milton Keynes, Slough and Eton and includes an Active Archaeology Group. The society holds monthly talks in the winter, arranges summer outings and publishes an annual journal 'Records of Buckinghamshire' as well as occasional newsletters, monographs, books and other papers. The society is based at the County Museum building in Aylesbury, where is has its library.
Buckinghamshire County Museum
The County Museum, Church Street, in Aylesbury has a rolling programme of exhibitions on themes in Buckinghamshire as well as permanent displays on Buckinghamshire’s human and natural history. Like all museums, the collections are too large to all be on display at once, but if you wish to see anything that is not currently on display, an appointment can be made to see it at Halton where there is a large store of artefacts including prehistoric, Roman, Saxon, medieval and later archaeological artefacts as well as a large social history collection. The latter includes artefacts such as agricultural equipment, vehicles, furnishings, industrial, personal accessories, items of clothing and many others. There is also a large natural history collection and a geological collection. You can search some of the museum’s collections online. Museum staff are happy to try and identify any mystery items you may have - book an apointment on a regular finds surgery.
Buckinghamshire Record Society
Bucks Gardens Trust
The Buckinghamshire Archives, on Walton Street in Aylesbury, has a collection of secondary sources in the Local Studies library that are open access and primary sources in the Archives. To arrange access to the archives see the website.
The Local Studies section contains copies of maps back to 1880; aerial photographs dating back to the 1920s covering the main centres of population; press cuttings and books classified by place; trade directories back to 1790 and up to 1939 for the whole county or 1974 for Aylesbury; telephone directories back to 1938; Buckinghamshire newspapers back to 1820 on microfiche, although recent copies of the Bucks Herald are in bound copies and general books on the history of Buckinghamshire.
The Archives contains all sorts of records including: parish records; Church of England records; Nonconformist records: records of institutions; personal collections; court records; historic maps (pre 1880); manorial records; deeds back to the twelfth or thirteenth century; charters; auction catalogues; wills back to the fifteenth century etc...
Council Archaeology Service
Chilterns AONB Conservation Board
Solent-Thames Archaeological Research Framework
Local Museums in Buckinghamshire
The local museum will have a range of locally made artefacts and will reflect the distinctiveness of the local area. They will also be staffed with knowledgeable personnel who may be able to help in early stages of research. They may not be open every day. Check the websites from the links below to find out the opening hours.
This museum has a few archaeological artefacts, some objects of local activity, crafts and industry, mainly recent and a large collection of photographs by George Ward, from the 1860s to the 1880s.
Chiltern Open Air Museum
This museum has a collection of houses and barns transported from other parts of the Chilterns and Buckinghamshire and rebuilt here to conserve them. Visiting is a good way to get to know a little more about the history of buildings, and especially buildings in the local region. You can visit their website at: www.coam.org.uk.
Old Gaol Museum, Buckingham
Pitstone Green Museum
This museum has a collection of archaeological artefacts from the quarries around the parish as well as galleries on rural life. More information can be found online at www.pitstonemuseum.co.uk.
Other Visitor Attractions in Buckinghamshire and Information for Visitors
This is the main website for visitors and has loads of information about things to do, places to visit and where to stay in Buckinghamshire. There is also a searchable What's On events listing, links to Tourist Information Centres, dowloadable visitor guides, and much more, all online at www.visitbuckinghamshire.org/
Events and Activities
For information about recreational activities and events in the countryside try Visit South-East England's website www.visitsoutheastengland.com/
There are more ideas for walks and downloadable walks leaflets available from Buckinghamshire Council's Walks webpage at www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/environment/exploring-the-countryside/walks-and-rides-route-map/
Archaeological Data Service (ADS)
The ADS is an online resource for researchers. It provides access to many different catalogues of archaeological information, from county Historic Environment Records to national records such as the Defence of Britain project database, all searchable online. Their website is http://ads.ahds.ac.uk.
British and Irish Archaeological Bibliography
British Archaeological Jobs Resource (BAJR)
Not just somewhere to search for jobs in archaeology, www.bajr.org is also packed full of information about courses, advice on archaeological techniques, dates of conferences and meetings and is the home of the Digger, full of interesting stories and issues about digging in commercial archaeology.
The British Library on Euston Road in London holds most of the publications in the English language. Their website is www.bl.uk. They have copies of the earliest printed works as well as manuscript texts, maps, sheet music, newspapers and a sound archive amongst other things. In order to get access to these you need to visit the library and sign on as a researcher.
The British Museum has archives and displays comprising selections of artefacts from every culture in the world throughout history. Their website is www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk. They will also have some artefacts from Buckinghamshire in their archives, especially those acquired in the nineteenth or early twentieth century.
Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA)
The CIfA is a professional organisation for archaeologists at www.archaeologists.net. The CIfA advises the government on archaeological matters and reviews professional standards and ethics within archaeology. Those interested in archaeology can join as affiliates and recieve their magazine, The Archaeologist, and their Yearbook, which lists all the archaeological organisations and individuals who are registered with them.
Council for British Archaeology (CBA)
The CBA provides advice to the government on heritage matters, runs the Young Archaeologists Club network, co-ordinates National Archaeology Week and publishes British Archaeology. Their website is new.archaeologyk.org/. This is a very useful website for many links to archaeology societies and information about how to get involved in archaeology. The CBA South Midlands regional group covers Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes (along with Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire) and has its own website at www.cba-southmidlands.org.uk/ .
This site has many transcribed primary sources online, a list of books related to Buckinghamshire, census details, parish registers, directories, lists of sheriffs and prisoners, probate records, links to museums, records by parish and many other useful sources.
Historic England is the main body that provides advice to the government on matters affecting the historic environment. Historic England makes sure that the historic environment of England is properly maintained and cared for. They employ archaitects, archaeologists and hitorians to help people understand and appreciate the historic buildings and landscapes around them. You can access their website at www.historicengland.org.uk/ . Historic England's Archive at Swindon is open to the public and includes extensive collections of aerial photographs, archaeological research, building reports and historic maps that can be consulted or searched online. Historic England is also responsible for the Heritage Gateway www.heritagegateway.org.uk/gateway/ which brings together a large number of national heritage databases and Historic Environment Records into a single searchable website.
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ The National Archives is the new name for the Public Record Office. This is where all records of births, deaths and marriages are kept as well as wills, probate inventories, criminal records, tax returns, census records and military service records amongst many other things. You can search their online catalogue or visit them at their offices in Kew.
National Metal-Detecting Council
www.ncmd.co.uk This website gives information on metal-detecting clubs, the Treasure Act and the metal-detecting Code of Conduct, as well as how to join the National Metal-Detecting Council itself.
Portable Antiquities Scheme
www.finds.org.uk The Portable Antiquities Scheme is a British Museum and National Museum Wales project to record artefacts discovered by the public. It employs Finds Liaison Officers across the UK who work closely with metal-detecting clubs in particular and who identify and record artefacts that are added to an online database and to the local Historic Environment Record.
Young Archaeologists Club
www.yac-uk.org. This club is for 8-16 year olds who are interested in archaeology. Members receive a regular magazine and have opportunities to enter competitions and go on archaeological summer holidays. There are also a network of local clubs where members (and non-members) can meet once a month. Clubs in Buckinghamshire are at Chalfont St Peter and Aylesbury. See the website for contact details.