The Official Opening Ceremony
Although the History Centre opened for business on 25 January
2010, the official opening ceremony took place on 7th June
Broadcaster and historian Dan Snow officially opened the Hull
History Centre on behalf of Hull City Council and the University of
Guest of honour Snow unveiled a plaque to
commemorate the occasion and was given a guided tour of the
impressive new centre - a building made possible thanks to a
generous £7.7m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, one of the
largest amounts ever given to an archive project in the UK.
(l to r) Vice-Chancellor of the
University of Hull Professor Calie Pistorius; Lord Mayor of
Kingston upon Hull David Gemmell, OBE and Dan Snow.
As part of the tour, staff put together a
display of original material held at the centre spanning 11
centuries of history. Dan Snow then went on to deliver a
public lecture on 'The Importance of History' at the Guildhall in
the afternoon - with a live link on to a screen in the History
Centre where more people were watching.
Hull is the first city in the UK to bring
together its city and university archives, local studies resources
and specialist staff into one hi-tech building. By the time of the
official opening it had already attracted almost 20,000
It's a fitting home for the 9,000 metres of
archives which include the most extensive range of WW2 records
nationally, the personal letters of pioneering aviator Amy Johnson,
archives relating to anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce,
the pressure group Liberty and a wealth of local history and
Speaking at the History Centre, Dan Snow
said: "I am heartened to see Hull taking such pride in its heritage
with this wonderful building that marries the old with the new so
"The Hull History Centre must be the envy
of archivists everywhere, but I've been equally impressed by the
way the way staff at the centre are making history exciting and
accessible to people of all ages through the events and education
sessions they run. Hull should be proud of this unique place."
The ceremony was also attended by Hull's
new Lord Mayor, the University of Hull Vice Chancellor and a senior
representative of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Lord Mayor of Kingston upon Hull and
Admiral of the Humber, Cllr David Gemmell OBE said: "With his
passion for history and all things maritime, we couldn't think of
anyone better to mark this occasion than Dan Snow and we're
delighted to welcome him in Hull today.
"As chair of the steering group at the time
of selecting the design of the History Centre, I'm particularly
pleased to help commemorate the opening of what is arguably the
best modern building in Hull, and a great contribution to our
city's built environment.
"The History Centre is a great resource for
local people, and is helping to promote Hull as a cultural
destination and challenge perceptions of the city."
Vice Chancellor of the University of Hull,
Professor Calie Pistorius said: "This formal opening is a way of
celebrating the success of the History Centre project so far and
giving recognition to the large number of individuals and
organisations which helped to make it possible.
"Creating a space to enable people to
explore history for many different reasons was at the heart of this
project, so we are pleased that members of the public will be able
to enjoy this afternoon's lecture as part of the celebrations."
Fiona Spiers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund
Yorkshire and Humber, added: "It's wonderful that Hull's treasure
trove of an archive has moved into a new home and has now been
officially opened. The Heritage Lottery Fund is proud to have
helped make this relocation possible and we congratulate both
Hull's Council and its University for undertaking this ambitious
"The History Centre is a huge asset to the
city, enabling visitors to view important documents including the
city's Royal Charter and to learn more about famous local residents
such as William Wilberforce, Amy Johnson and Philip Larkin."
Picture credit: Mike Park, University of Hull