Rural Development Commission/Countryside Commission

In 1988 the Development Commission (DC) merged with its main agency, the Council for Small Industries in Rural Areas (CoSIRA) to form the Rural Development Commission (RDC). Both bodies had a fairly long history: Commissioners were first appointed to oversee the Development Fund in 1909, while CoSIRA was established in 1968. It was an amalgamation of the Rural Industries Bureau (RIB, established 1921), the Rural Industries Loan Fund (RILF, established 1940), and the Rural Industries Organisers (part of the Rural Community Councils). The Commission advises the Government on matters relating to the economic and social development of rural areas in England. In order to further such development, it has wide powers to give financial assistance, and to acquire land, property and premises.  The RDC became the Countryside Commission and then in 1999 the Countryside Agency. As a result of a bill in 2006 it is likely the name will be changed again. The organisation is referred to as the Countryside Agency throughout the catalogue


This collection consists of negatives, contact cards, prints, slides and related material, showing all aspects of the RDC's work, and that of its predecessors. Most items are arranged according to the RDC internal classification scheme, as follows: AC Admin Commissioners ACH Admin Chairman ACO ACCORD AD Administration AG Agriculture AN Annual Report AR Antiques Restoration AS Administration Staff AW Awards B Baskets BB Boatbuilding CB Clay - Bricks CD Community Devt CP Clay, Pottery etc CRS Courses CT Commissioners' Tour EL Electrical EG Engineering EX Exhibitions F Farriery FO Food and Drink FS Field Sports FD Furniture G Glass GD Graphic Design HS Historic H Horn LG Leather and Sheepskin M Marketing PL Plastics PA Printing/Model Making PW Power PR Premises RC Rural Childcare RF Rural Focus RL Rural Life RT Rural Transport SE Services SY Saddlery SQ Stonework/Quarrying T Tourism TX Textiles TH Thatch TW Teleworking U Underwood VW Views W Woodworking WM Women at Work WR Wrought Ironwork WS Work Study Each of these headings is broken down further by number, as detailed in SR RDC/PH4/2. Major finding aids are SR RDC/PH2/1 (for negatives) and SR RDC/PH4/3 (for slides). At the time of deposit, some items were awaiting classification (SR RDC/PH2/3-7), others had been collated as "archives" (SR RDC/PH2/8-14, SR RDC/PH3/1-35, and related items).

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