The people of Jersey have proved once again that they are fascinated by their history, culture and ancestors by attending in large numbers a series of open days and talks at Jersey Archive. Stories of the local community and the people who lived, loved and worked here have all proved a draw for Islanders.

Nearly 650 people went to the Archive on Saturdays throughout 2010 to hear about some of the Island’s well known streets and roads. The ‘What’s Your Street Story’ project, sponsored by Appleby, has been a major success for Jersey Archive, with an increase of 90% on the number of people who attended the same series in 2009.

In 2010 Jersey Archive asked the public to nominate the streets they would most like to learn about, the research team then delved into the Archive’s records to find out as much information as possible. The team then presents the story of those streets at a series of open talks on Saturdays throughout the year. On average, throughout 2010 the usage of the Archive at weekends increased by 50% over weekdays as a result of the initiative, with 35% of those attending being new to the facility.

Jersey Archive, which is operated on behalf of the States by Jersey Heritage, actively promotes opportunities for Islanders to discover more about their history and the ‘What’s Your Street Story’ project has been made possible through the partnership with Appleby.

Head of Archives Linda Romeril says: “We are delighted that Appleby have agreed to continue their sponsorship of the project in 2011 and look forward to telling the stories of more of Jersey's streets, houses and residents. Our programme next year will include nine talks on different communities in Jersey, with an additional two special presentations showing people how to start using Jersey Archive to research the history of their own house or area.”

Appleby Managing Partner Advocate Michael O’Connell says: “The Archive is a very important resource to both individuals and companies; we are pleased to help increase access to the Archive and raise public awareness of the facilities available to Islanders. We look forward to building on the ‘What’s your Story campaigns we have worked on since 2008 and enabling people to discover more about their ancestors.”

Nine areas were chosen for research during 2010, based on those that received the most nominations. Articles were published in the press each month telling some of the stories of the people who lived in each area. Each article was accompanied by a free talk at Jersey Archive on the third Saturday of the month.