A leading archivist from Kew Archives has heaped praise on the Hive, calling it "the embodiment of Archives for the 21st Century".
Clem Broheir, Chief Operating Officer from The National Archives based at Kew paid a visit to the county's most prestigious library and archive service earlier this month (November 2). He came to Worcestershire on a fact finding mission and was not disappointed, saying he would be taking back ideas from the Worcestershire Library for their new service archive at Kew.
During the day he met with various members of the council and discussed the very real challenges Worcester Archive and Archaeology Service has been facing, which has included a 54% budgetary reduction since 2012.
He said: “I had the pleasure of visiting the Worcestershire Hive to hear how the county’s Archives and Archaeology Service is emerging from a period of profound change and realignment.
"Although this has brought incredible challenges to the service, it has also unleashed a determination to make the service work in new ways, to reach a wider audience, and to diversify its activities. It’s not about doing more with less, but doing more, differently."
He added: "Throughout my visit I was struck by the resourcefulness, the enthusiasm, and knowledge of a remarkable team working hard to meet the challenges of both the current financial climate and the expanding demands of its many audiences.”
The day concluded with a tour of the building which brought to life the varied ways in which the service is interacting with its users, from digital touch-tables and sound-pods, to the virtual layering of GIS data onto the county’s tithe maps.
There was also a chance to visit the strong rooms, which hold William Shakespeare’s marriage banns to Anne Hathaway, a letter posted from the Titanic (when in port in Southampton) and recently digitised nineteenth-century photo of circus elephants basking in the river Severn.
The Hive is an innovative partnership between the University of Worcester and Worcestershire County Council. It brings together the City and University libraries, along with a variety of council services into one iconic 'gold-plated' building.