PRESERVING and promoting local history is at the heart of Clackmannanshire's archive service, which is being highlighted as part of a social media campaign this month.

As people are being urged to keep an eye on #Archive30 on Twitter, the council's archivist Susan Yule was happy to show off one of the more unusual items in the collection.

While naturally the archives mostly consist of paper records, the Patons and Baldwins Book of Super Fingering Worsted Samples (pictured), which includes a line drawing of the Alloa mills as at 1871, stands out.

The item contains actual wool from the time and the samples are still in good condition having retained their vibrant colours, especially considering their age.

It is understood it actually dates from the period when the company was known as John Paton, Sons and Co – before the merger with Baldwins.

Susan said: "The line drawing gives an indication of the number of mill buildings that were in operation around this time and provides a nice, sanitised version of Victorian-age industry.

"There are a variety of colourful and eye-catching items in the Patons and Baldwins collection that bring back memories for former employees and there relatives and anyone is welcome to visit the archives and view these items."

She explained the Patons and Baldwins collection is the largest private deposit held at Clackmannanshire Archives, something that was deposited for preservation and to provide public access to records.

The archivist said: "The majority of the Patons and Baldwins collection consists of business records such as meeting minutes, property deeds, production records and some promotional material such as knitting patterns and wool craft and rug craft booklets.

"Unfortunately, we do not hold many records about individual employees of Patons and Baldwins, so if any readers have records or photos of themselves or relatives working there that they would like to preserve for future generations to see, the archives would be very interested in taking these."

Based at the Speirs Centre, Susan looks after the numerous collections and is happy to provide access between Mondays and Fridays each week.

Indeed, creating the Advertiser's archives page would not be possible without the many microfilm reels that preserved the newspaper many issues over its 178 year history.

Also at the archives are records of the council and its predecessors, parish council records, burial records, property valuation rolls and much more to allow people explore the area's rich history.

Follow #Archive30 on Twitter as Susan posts a couple times a week throughout April.