September 23, 2011, by Andrew Burden

Hydrometric data in the archives

One of the problems facing an archivist when cataloguing the papers of a business or organisation is the presence of material of a technical nature. The files of the Hydrology/Water Resources Section of the Trent River Authority include series of hydrological data in a range of technical formats that are going to prove challenging to identify and describe!

Two circular paper weir gauge charts, extracted from a larger bundle wrapped in brown paper

Weir gauge charts

Unidentified chart, possibly showing changes in water levels, partly held together by yellowed, brittle sticky tape


The administrative files show how the Authority constantly sought new technological solutions, replacing its network of voluntary observers (often recruited via appeals in local newspapers), whose data might arrive at the Nottingham Office weeks after it had been collected, with a radio-based telemetry scheme system of logging and alarming as part of the Authority’s Flood Warning System. The Authority went on to install a large network of automatic measuring stations capable of monitoring river levels, rainfall, evaporation and water quality.

Bundle of printed charts and newspaper clippings about rainfall

Meteorological observations


Posted in CataloguingWater resources