The earliest item in this collection dates from 1665. Earlier dates of birth and marriage do feature in the collection but they are derived from a digests of births, marriages, and deaths and considering that a birth date of 1632 found in item NQ1/1/R1/1 pre-dates the establishment of the Society of Friends by approximately twenty years, it has been assumed that the birth date came about through the back-dating of the birth of a later member of the Society.
The original core of the collection was deposited as accessions 582, 961, 993, 1953 and 2098 between 1965 and 1983, and was subsequently catalogued as catalogue BMM. The collection has since been augmented by accessions 3442, 3675, 4434, 4581, 4726, 4794, 5169, 5480, 5628, 5700 and 5821 which were deposited between 1992 and 2009, and the entire collection was recatalogued in 2008-9.
Further accessions, 5877, 5976, 6010 and 6128, were received between July 2009 and September 2012 and were added to the collection in June 2013. Another update was made in September 2015, adding accessions 6287 (received June 2014), 6338 (November 2014) and 6371 (April 2015).
The original BMM collection related to records of the Banbury Monthly Meeting, but the name of the Meeting has since changed to Banbury and Evesham Monthly Meeting (BEMM) and then to Banbury and Evesham Area Meeting (BEAM). The formation of BEMM took place between 1985 and 1987 when Banbury Monthly Meeting was united with other, somewhat isolated, Preparative Meetings (PM) from neighbouring Monthly Meetings (MM). Banbury and Evesham Monthly Meeting comprised the Preparative Meetings of Evesham, Littleton, Broad Campden, Sibford, Banbury, and Ettington. Stratford Preparative Meeting joined BEMM in 2001.
Evesham and Littleton Preparative Meetings were formerly part of the Worcestershire and Shropshire Monthly Meeting, whose records can be found at Worcestershire Record Office. Broad Campden PM joined from the Gloucestershire and Nailsworth MM, records for which can are held at Gloucestershire Archives. Some earlier records pertaining to the Ettington and Stratford Meetings are held at Bull Street Meeting House, Birmingham.
The records in the collection date from the mid 17th-century up to 2007, and include minutes, accounts, assorted registration papers, title deeds, photographs and other administrative papers. One series of records which does not figure largely in this collection are those relating to the establishment and administration of Sibford School, the Quaker boarding school at Sibford Ferris in north Oxfordshire. Minute books of the Committee and Sub-Committee of the school, covering the period 1839-1921, can be found as part of ORO collection Si. Further records relating to the administration of the school are held at Friends House Library, London, or are still held by Sibford School.
A significant number of records in the collection are subject to a 50 closure period at the request of the depositors. Closed records are individually marked throughout the catalogue.
A concordance of old and new reference numbers can be found at the back of the hard-copy catalogue.
Recatalogued by Karen Garvey, Ruth Imeson and Hannah Jones between 2000 and March 2009. With additions by Hannah Jones, June 2013 and September 2015.