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Tuesday, 11 September, 2001, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK
Historic cemetery records saved
Arnos Vale Cemetery
The cemetery dates back to 1839
Burial records from one of Britain's oldest private cemeteries have been made available to the public following restoration work to save them.

The 250 record books from Bristol's Arnos Vale Cemetery date back to the opening of the 45-acre site in 1839.

Some 10,000 has been spent on restoring the volumes.

They contain details of each person who is buried at Arnos Vale, when they died, where they are buried and who owns each plot.

Bristol Record Office
The archives are kept at the record office

Without this information it would be impossible to carry out future burials at the cemetery.

Bristol City Council's record office took possession of the records earlier this year after concerns about their condition.

They were stored in damp conditions and had begun to decay.

People wanting to research family and local history can now access them at the record office but they remain too fragile to be handled by the general public.

'Valuable documents'

Bristol City Councillor Helen Holland, said: "At one stage everyone was extremely worried that the condition of the records would deteriorate to the point where restoration would not be possible.

"These records are an essential part of Arnos Vale's history and part of the city's heritage.

"There are so many people that have a connection with the cemetery who are going to be reassured to be able to access their family history once more."

John Williams, the council's city archivist said: "The archives at the record office are kept at a constant temperature and humidity to ensure that valuable documents such as these records are kept in the best condition possible."

The restored volumes from Arnos Vale are due to be further repaired if money from the National Heritage Lottery Fund can be secured.

See also:

28 Apr 01 | Media reports
Jewish cemetery archive for the web
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