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Status: Active (as VCH Cumbria), 0 Westmoreland volumes published
No VCH town or village histories had been published for the historic counties of Cumberland and Westmorland before the VCH Cumbria project was launched in 2010; the only parts of Cumbria previously to have been researched in detail by the VCH were the Furness and Cartmel areas, which were formerly in Lancashire and are covered in VCH Lancashire, Volume VIII (published in 1910). Such a project must have an overall geographic structure. The VCH Cumbria project is using the Civil Parishes as they existed around 1900 as the basis for dividing the counties of Cumberland and Westmorland into units for the preparation of articles. This means there are 344 places in Cumbria for which separate articles will be written.
As it is prepared, material will be published on the VCH web site by the County Editor. Meanwhile, work will also commence in other parts of the county as volunteers become available, all research being conducted according to VCH guidelines. Completed research materials for these areas will be submitted to a moderator appointed for each volume territory from amongst experienced and competent local historians, and will, if approved, be posted online in due course.
All the work is being done by volunteers, under the overall direction of Dr Angus Winchester of Lancaster University, and with volunteer guidance and support provided by Dr Sarah Rose, Volunteer Co-ordinator. A free training programme will be provided to help volunteers, and ensure that the high standards of scholarship expected from the Victoria County History are maintained, and that the work provides a factual, reliable and authoritative work of reference for everyone with an interest in the history of their town or village - and possibly their family too.
The Cumbria County History Trust has been established as a registered charity to raise funds and volunteer resources for the work, and to provide the community focus for the project. More information about the Cumbria County History Trust can be found in the Support section and on their own website http://www.cumbriacountyhistory.org.uk/