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Celebrating local history publishing

Next month we will be celebrating local history publishing.  As part of the CILIP Local Studies conference hosted at the David Wilson Library, we will be presenting the winners of the Alan Ball Award 2017 with their prizes. The Alan Ball Award rewards excellence in local history publishing. The award is open to publications produced by local authority organisations and heritage/community groups who have received public funding. 

The judges choose one print and one electronic publication every year from the nominations received. The award is named after Alan W. Ball, former Chief Librarian of the London Borough of Harrow, and author of many local history publications. The award is now run by the Local Studies Group of CILIP.  


Books by Alan Ball in the David Wilson Library

I have created an online reading list of the recent winners. Also included are books by Alan Ball, that we have in the local history collections. Our holdings reflect Alan Ball's specialism in topographical illustrations. 

The 2017 winners are:

Spratton Local History Society 

Spratton won for their high-quality website. As well as being clearly designed and providing up-to-date information, it hosts freely accessible databases and original research. Readers can search the genealogy database of families living in the village during the 19th century, and the extensive photo archive. There is also a fascinating group biography of the men of Spratton who served in the First World War. 

Wigan Archives 

Wigan Archives won for the book Miss Weeton, Governess and Traveller, edited by Alan Roby. The book is based on personal writings by Nelly Weeton (1776–1849), the Lancashire governess and diarist. Terry Bracher, convener of the  judging panel, said: “There were several high quality entries this year but we felt that ‘Miss Weeton, Governess and Traveller’ is an outstanding publication in every sense, with engaging content that is accessible to a wide range of audiences. 
Alan’s skilful editing and research for this new edition has enhanced the reader’s enjoyment and is a story that can be appreciated by audiences across the country and beyond. The book is also physically impressive and the reproduced images are brilliant in quality. Wigan Archives and Local Studies have been very active in local history publishing, so we are especially pleased that this book has been recognised.”

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