During summer 2021 we launched our National Heritage Lottery Funded project, History Revealed, issuing a call for volunteers to help catalogue and discover more about the family papers and letters held here. We have been overwhelmed by the interest this project has generated with over 160 people expressing an interest in being part of the project!

Since our call-out for volunteers, archivists at Surrey History Centre have undertaken an initial sort of the archive in preparation for your involvement, grouping the papers roughly into categories relating to each family member, the estate, the history of the house and the collections of paintings and other artefacts. Over the next year we hope to involve volunteers in further cataloguing, transcribing, packaging and research in relation to our collection of papers. To involve as many volunteers as possible and offer flexible volunteering opportunities which work for a variety of schedules, each of these activities will be offered as a separate volunteering opportunity, with a chance for volunteers to take part in a single, or multiple, roles.

At this stage of the project, we would like all volunteers to indicate which roles they are interested in and tell us more about their experience (if they have any). In particular, we are looking to recruit a small number of Lead Volunteers to support the project. We expect training for Lead Volunteers to begin in April followed by other volunteer roles beginning in May. 

If you would like to take part in this project please let us know your preferred role and any relevant experience. Click here to apply.

Lead Volunteers

We are looking for 3-4 Lead Volunteers who will work with us to coordinate and oversee the project. These volunteers will receive training from Surrey History Centre in correct handling of archive material, cataloguing, and palaeography. Surrey History Centre and WHPT staff will also work with them to familiarise themselves with the archive as it currently stands, and sign post the journey to ensuring it is better cared for and understood. Once fully trained, our lead volunteers will coordinate and oversee small groups of volunteers in investigating sections of the archive, delivering training where appropriate.

Please click here to view the full role description

Please click here to apply


Cataloguing Volunteers

Small groups of 3-4 volunteers will work with manageable sections of the archive to catalogue groups of papers, each overseen by a lead volunteer. This activity will involve writing descriptions of each item, assigning temporary reference numbers and taking photographs. It will take place at West Horsley Place on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 10am-1pm; or at Surrey History Centre.


Remote Transcription Volunteers

These volunteers will work remotely to create transcriptions of written documents from photographs taken by the cataloguing volunteers. You will be invited to attend palaeography workshops to develop your understanding of handwritten documents and ability to read historic handwriting. You will need access to a computer with word processing software in order to partake in this opportunity, for instance at home or at a local library.


Packaging volunteers

Once catalogued, there will be groups of documents which need to be appropriately packaged to ensure they are properly conserved and cared for. Packaging volunteers will work in groups to package groups of documents such as series of letters. This activity may take place at West Horsley Place or Surrey History Centre.


Update and Consultation group

With the help of our lead volunteers, we will give bi-monthly updates on the progress of the archive project, including details of what we have discovered so far to a larger pool of volunteers. Through the archive project we hope to identify areas for further research, generate content for our website and create a temporary exhibition at West Horsley Place. The update and consultation group will help to steer the direction for this aspect of the project.



Small groups of researchers will undertake further investigation into aspects of the archive. The direction for this research will be influenced by the Update and Consultation Group. We hope that areas of research will include the exploration of significant relationships to the Crewe family and developing our understanding of the Manor House.


Storytelling and Exhibition development

Through the archive project we hope to generate content for our website and create a temporary exhibition to take place at West Horsley Place in 2023. We hope to hold a storytelling and exhibition development workshop in late 2022 as a catalyst for developing this exhibition. Volunteers will be invited to steer the direction of the exhibition through this workshop.


If you would like to take part in this project please let us know your preferred role and relevant experience. Click here to apply.