The Model Town: Harlow Development Corporation Archives

By Essex Record Office

Essex Record Office is delighted to have appointed an archivist to catalogue 491 boxes of the Harlow Development Corporation, thanks to a grant from Archives Revealed, funded by The National Archives, The Pilgrim Trust and The Wolfson Foundation. Hector Mir began working on the boxes in the first week of December 2020, and is making excellent progress. The catalogue will be mounted on Essex Record Office’s online catalogue and image database, Essex Archives Online.

Harlow was among the first post-war New Towns, designated in 1947, and cataloguing the wealth of records generated by the Corporation will provide an invaluable resource for users of the Essex Record Office. Studying the development of New Towns gives an insight in to the social, economic, political and cultural influences across the decades, taking us back to the great social change of the immediate post-war period and beyond, informing the learning of current and future town planners, historians and local people. The project will generate new usage, reach out to new audiences and cement Essex as central in New Town studies.

‘We’re absolutely delighted that the Essex Record Office has been successful with its funding bid. The records of the Harlow Development Corporation, which shaped the town, are one of the most significant resources for 20th century Essex, and looking at the development of new towns provides a fascinating insight into the political and cultural influences over the years.’ – Councillor Susan Barker, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Customer, Corporate, Culture and Communities.