What are the Alton Papers?
In the Introduction of ALTON PAPERS No.1, Tony Cross, the Curator of the Curtis Museum and Allen Gallery in Alton, Hampshire, England, wrote:
'From 1980, the Newsletter of the Friends of the Curtis Museum and Allen Gallery included small articles of local history interest which some thought worthy of keeping for reference. With a growing interest in the past, it was thought desirable to provide an opportunity for those undertaking a wide range of local history research to see the results in print. The ALTON PAPERS are the result.'
Since the first volume, which was published in 1997, there has been a new one produced each year containing articles on Alton and the surrounding villages. These include Chawton, where Jane Austen lived from 1809, Selborne, the home of Gilbert White, and Holybourne where Elizabeth Gaskell, author of ‘Cranford’, died.
The Friends of the Curtis Museum and Allen Gallery were originally founded in 1934 and are a group of people interested in promoting the Museum and Gallery. They hold regular meetings to encourage interest in all things associated with the museum as well as outings and social events.
The Friends have a close relationship with the staff of the Hampshire County Council Museums Service and they have assisted in making many gifts to the Museums Service.