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Connecting Collections, March 2010. Cathy Smith and Fleur Soper, Archives for the 21st Century Handout
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Connecting Collections, March 2010. Cathy Smith and Fleur Soper, Archives for the 21st Century Handout

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Accompanying handout for the presentation by Cathy Smith, Senior Manager, Strategic Collection Development and Fleur Soper, Collections Advisor at The National Archives, given at the Connecting …

Accompanying handout for the presentation by Cathy Smith, Senior Manager, Strategic Collection Development and Fleur Soper, Collections Advisor at The National Archives, given at the Connecting Collections event, 5 March 2010, BT Centre, London.

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  • 1. __________________________________________________________________________________ Archives for the 21st Century __________________________________________________________________________________ Archives for the 21st Century is the new government policy created by The National Archives and The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. It is a call to action for publicly-funded archive services in local authorities and universities to recognise the essential contribution that archives can make to the development of policy and the delivery of services locally. Cultural and Learning partnerships One of the recommendations within the policy is for • Potential partners understand the contribution archive services to actively participate in cultural and cultural heritage can make to the achievement learning partnerships and opportunities. of their strategic aims, and include them in implementation. Archives and cultural heritage organisations have a powerful role to play in supporting formal and • Our cultural heritage covers a vast range of informal learning, community cohesion and a sense of subjects: a good partnership can deliver local pride and belonging. They can make a clear projects for culture and learning in a huge contribution to the delivery of local policy initiatives, through partnerships with other cultural, learning and range of academic subject areas. information organisations. To do this the sector must Treasure House be engaged with the decision-making processes. East Riding of Yorkshire Council has created a one- stop cultural site that combines a museum, For archives to prosper they need to develop more library, art gallery and archive with great effective partnerships with organisations seeking to improvements to the standards of collection support learning and community cohesion. Involving management. users more in the design and delivery of their services will create opportunity and give clarity on the The new building, completed in 2007 with a grant priorities they need to meet. from the Heritage Lottery Fund, holds the collections of the East Riding Archives, Beverley Benefits Local Studies Library, Beverley Art Gallery, • The audience for archival information is Beverley Guildhall and the Archaeology of the East broadened and enlarged, and users have Riding Museums Service. access to the cultural heritage resources they need and want. Increase in resources The Treasure House Education Officer now works • Communities are more actively involved in the across all services and paper conservators can development and delivery of services. work across the archive, library, museum and gallery. The services share meeting spaces, • Archives and cultural heritage organisations education and conference facilities, a permanent increase their access to resources and and temporary exhibition space; a cafe and public contribute more effectively to wider areas. government policies around identity, learning, community and place. nationalarchives.gov.uk
  • 2. The results • Active users increased significantly from people with a range of mental health problems has around 4,000 to 12,000 in the first year. changed and is changing. • The archive has an additional 120,000 users due to the knock-on effects of being in a The emphasis is on understanding, recording and shared service. making heard the memories, feelings and responses • The conservation workshop has a public of those most closely involved - the medical staff, the viewing facility to encourage awareness and patients and their families and friends in an informal raise engagement during visits. setting. • Customers have modern storage facilities and a great place to visit which has a café and a Using the MLA’s ‘Revisiting Archive Collections’ toolkit tower overlooking Beverley Minster. Surrey History Centre and MIND explored ways in to create user generated content that tells the stories of The move to the Treasure House has transformed the the patients and staff in their own words. way in which they can ensure the long-term preservation of the collections and make them Creating a legacy for London 2012 accessible to an expanding range of users. Previous Games have often lacked a comprehensive, accessible archive as part of their legacy. Surrey History Centre The Record is an initiative led by the Museums, In partnership with the Woking branch of MIND the Libraries and Archives Council and The National Surrey History Centre explored records of Brookwood Archives. It aims to ensure that there is a Mental Hospital with former patients and staff who’d comprehensive record of the 2012 games and Cultural worked there. The project looked at records already Olympiad reflecting its sporting, social, historical and held by Surrey History Centre as well as creating oral cultural significance. history recordings of those that experienced the hospital. Our partners This is being achieved through a working partnership Partnership here was crucial; early on archive staff with a wide range of stakeholders, ranging from recognised that outreach sessions would be lead by national institutions to small community associations. MIND staff, whilst the archive service was able to This builds on established links with government, provide document expertise as well as an education archival and cultural institutions and creates new room and exhibition area. There was a positive relationships with sporting bodies and broadcasters. impact, with very active participation in the project, a conference and exhibition and for some regular use of Outcomes the Surrey History Centre. We are working together to build a comprehensive collection for future generations. Results One of the planned outcomes will be a federation of The project won the Landmark Award in 2008, for linked multimedia archive collections, hosted by many running an ‘innovative and original project which different collaborating organisations but accessible makes creative use of archive material and which through a single, user-friendly online portal…and it’s makes a real contribution to the community’. called….The Record. Since the success of the Brookwood project the The UK government wants to create an inspiring History Centre has continued to build their legacy through the Olympic festival: The Record is a partnership with Woking MIND, to explore different key element in safeguarding the information that will ways in which the documentary records can be used document what has been achieved. to help understand how the care and treatment of nationalarchives.gov.uk
  • 3. Useful links and resources Archives for the 21st Century: the government policy on archives http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/policy/aft21c/ The Museums Libraries and Archives Council strategic planning http://www.mla.gov.uk/what/strategies The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council 2012 Programme http://www.mla.gov.uk/what/programmes/setting_pace The Treasure House http://www.eastriding.gov.uk/treasurehouse/ Surrey History Centre http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/ Woking Mind http://www.wokingmind.org.uk/ The Record: London 2012 http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/2012/ Collections Trust Revisiting Collections http://www.collectionslink.org.uk/Increase_Access/revisiting_collections The National Archives provides guidance and information on records and archives for the sector. This is available on our website under Archives Sector Development: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archives/ nationalarchives.gov.uk