Minister tells Parliament: archives matter!

A reception in the House of Lords on Wednesday evening was told by Ministerfor Culture, Ed Vaizey MP, that archives and records mattered: to people,the country and to the economy.

Script

A reception in the House of Lords on Wednesday evening was told by Minister for Culture, Ed Vaizey MP, that archives and records mattered: to people, the country and to the economy.

The reception, hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Archives, also heard from historian and broadcaster Professor Lisa Jardine CBE, the Chief Executive of the Government agency the Museums, Libraries & Archives Council Roy Clare CBE and

Harry Reeves OBE, Secretary-General of UNESCO UK National Commission.

Ed Vaizey told the audience of Parliamentarians, professionals, volunteers and user groups from the archives sector and guests from the media, business and central and local government that he was thrilled at being presented with the 1911 Census return completed by the hand of his grandfather, who was a barge builder on the River Thames. The Minister told the reception that the Government’s theme of the “big society” was truly reflected in the work of the archives sector.

The reception also marked the first ever National Archive Volunteering Project of the Year Award and the Minister announced the winners and those projects given a “highly commended” award. Suffolk Record Office took the main title, with the Black Cultural Archives, Warwickshire Record Office and The National Archives taking the well-deserved “highly commended” slots.

The Minister also spoke about how the archives and records sector played a crucial role in the economy of the nation and was in prime position to help the Government with its plans to open up data and promote the reuse of public sector information for economic benefit.

The new Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Archives, Dr Hywel Francis MP, was welcomed to his position by Mr Vaizey, who noted Dr Francis’ own reputation as a historian and user of archives and congratulated him on the publication of his well received book on the 1984 Miners’ Strike.

The Patron of the newly formed Archives & Records Association, Lisa Jardine, told the reception of her personal and professional commitment to the archives sector. Professor Jardine told the gathering at the House of Lords that the new Association was vital to prove the worth of archives to government and wider society and that she would continue to advocate at the highest levels for a proper recognition of the contribution of the sector to arts, culture and business.

ENDS
For more information: René Kinzett, Archives & Records Association This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Notes to Editors:
For more information on the National Archive Volunteering Project of the Year Award, please see: http://www.mla.gov.uk/news_and_views/news/2010/June/award_winning_suffolk_record_office
For more information on the Archives & Records Association, please see www.archives.org.uk