From the Sector

Here you will find links to useful guidance and information produced by organisations, as well as details of some of the funding and financial support available across the heritage sector.

Call for papers: Community Archives & Heritage Group Annual Conference – deadline 9th July

Community Archives & Heritage Group Annual Conference (date tbc - late September / early October): Communities, sustainable environments and heritage

This online conference will feature different presentations on how community archives and heritage work can engage with critical questions of the environment and sustainability. Even in the context of the current pandemic, the local and global challenges facing the environment and a sustainable future, including the impact of climate change, changes in the use of land and city spaces, rising sea levels and changing climate patterns, displacement of people, and the scarcity of resources are ones which face all communities. Lives of communities are bound up absolutely and indivisibly with the environment in which those lives are led and heritage can play an important role in understanding these changes, engaging with the past to inform the present and the future and supporting communities to find solutions to these challenges.

Taking the environment and heritage in the broadest sense as pertaining to all the places and spaces in which communities live, work and play, this includes urban and rural, contemporary and historical and the built as well as the natural environment. We would like to hear from groups whose work reflects on their environment in past and present and offers possibilities for sustainable futures.

Suggested topics for conference presentations include:

  *   Heritage & local environment (place)

  *   Community heritage, climate change and sustainable futures

  *   Food heritage & the environment - including development of slow food networks and sustainable living

  *   Countryside and change

  *   Environmental activism

  *   Historic urban environments

  *   Urban change and regeneration

  *   Heritage activities and sustainable energy use

Please send in short abstracts/suggestions (200 words) for papers (20-30 minutes) plus brief biographical details to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

by 9th July. This online conference will take place in late September/early October and successful paper givers will be contacted by the end of July.

UNESCO UK Memory of the World 2022 LAUNCH

The Call for Nominations to the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register for 2022 is now open. All individuals, private or public institutions, organisations and communities are invited to consider putting forward a nomination.

Click here to apply to become a UNESCO UK Memory of the World inscription. Read more about the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Programme Discover here.

The UNESCO UK Memory of the World (MoW) programme seeks to help protect, preserve and make permanently accessible to all, the UK's distinct, disparate and diverse documentary heritage. Through the UK MoW Register, our aim is to champion and raise awareness of lesser-known and overlooked material of national significance, placing them alongside better known to truly highlight, represent and celebrate the contribution and impact of individuals, groups and communities to our collective national life.

Nominations are assessed against, and include reflection and context on:

* Time - does it evoke a particularly significant or tumultuous period in time?

* Place - does it highlight the features, nature or community of the place where the documentary heritage was created?

* People - does it illustrate a significant aspect of human social, industrial or artistic development?

* Subject and theme - does it represent a particular historical or intellectual development?

* Form and Style - is it an outstanding or aesthetically beautiful example of its type?

* Social/spiritual/community significance - does it possess a certain emotional attachment for the community or contribute to that community's identity and social cohesion?

UK MoW nominations can be made by anyone, not just institutions, and can include documentary heritage on any subject, place, person or community. They can come in any format from physical to digital, manuscripts to printed material, and big-data to audio-visual formats.

Help us celebrate and recognise the rich cultural, scientific and artistic achievements of the UK by continuing to add to the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register, enabling us all to learn and understand the lessons of the past to inform our future.

Click here to access the handbook for nomination and guidance on assessing significance.

#ArchiveDiaspora

A social media campaign celebrating the Irish people, both new and old, both famous and forgotten, who have either left or come to these shores for a new life.

The Archives and Records Association Ireland is delighted to announce a new social media campaign to take place annually on the 1st July, beginning this year. Based on the theme of diaspora, and using the campaign hashtag #ArchiveDiaspora, individuals and institutions across Ireland and around the world are invited to share material from their archives which relate to Irish people both famous and forgotten, who left these shores for a life abroad, as well as material relating to those who have chosen to make Ireland their home.

Celebrate the wonderful, the whacky, the brave, and the banal, the intrepid explorer, and the wayfaring stranger!

The campaign aims to encourage the public to access and explore collections, while also highlighting the rich material in archives all across Ireland and Internationally. It also hopes to raise awareness of the wealth and variety of material that exists within the community at large, and the importance of ensuring it is collected and preserved for future generations.

Participation is open to all, with an emphasis on archives, both personal and public, and interested parties may get in touch by contacting ARA Ireland Communications and Campaigns Officer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Free resources and training on caring for audio collection material

New, free online resources and training on caring for audio materials, aimed at non-specialist collection holders. Sound recording technology has been with us for well over a century, and it’s extremely common to find small quantities of tapes, discs and other formats in gallery, library, archive and museum collections around the UK and beyond, often held as part of larger, more traditional collections.

Few professional staff in these institutions have received training in how to care for and make use of sound items, and as a result they are often relegated to the back of the shelf, waiting for a day that never comes. Many sound formats are endangered however, due to the looming unavailability of the necessary playback equipment, and so the time we have in which to finally tackle these collection items is limited, to a few years at most.

The UK-wide Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project is launching a series of online resources and activities, to help collection holders understand and care for their sound collections.

Free training

From late May and throughout the summer, a series of over 40 free training events will be offered, mostly online. They will be led by ten regional sound preservation centres around the UK, helping collection holders of all kinds to preserve and use their sound collections more effectively.

Events and dates will be announced throughout the summer. Click here for an up to date list of the online courses on offer. For physical training events in your area, switch off the Eventbrite “Search for online events” filter.

Free online resource

A series of nine introductory leaflets, produced by the British Library in partnership with project partners around the UK, breaks down the challenges of caring for sound collections into manageable topics, and points to further authoritative sources of information. They are freely available here.

Free poster

An excellent Unlocking Your Sound Heritage poster outlining simple, realistic steps towards successfully managing your sound collections will be sent free of charge to any UK collection holder on request. Just email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Free advice

Your local sound preservation centre will be happy to discuss any aspect of caring for or using sound collections with you.

Decolonising archives and collections programmes start at UAL, iniva and three major art collections

Work has started on three residency programmes that will introduce new decolonial interventions into the archives and collections of University of the Arts London (UAL), iniva (Institute for International Visual Arts) and three major UK art collections: Arts Council Collection, British Council Collection and Manchester Art Gallery Collections.

Five artists/researchers in residence are working across these significant collections during 2021, with a sixth researcher expected to join in June. Across the three residencies, they will each examine and interrogate specific objects, materials, documents or aspects of the archives and collections. Their outputs will be presented and published at the end of the year.

The Decolonising Arts Institute is excited to introduce the 2021 programmes, the researchers and a first look at the work they will be doing this year. Further details can be found here

Call for Papers Reminder: Workshop on the Embodiment of Things (EoT 2021)

The Workshop on the Embodiment of Things (EoT 2021) will be held online on the 19th July and is co-located with the 33rd British Human Computer Interaction Conference (https://hci2021.bcs.org)

The goal of this workshop is to bring researchers and practitioners from national and international cultural heritage (CH) organisations together with those from across HCI and related fields. We aim to establish how an alertness to tertiary embodiment (mind-body-artefact) can provide the ground for bringing artefacts to life, catalyse collective knowledge production, enable collaboration, and encourage the creative integration of computational and archival thinking. For example, in building on AI methods to create a visual search platform, the Deep Discoveries collaborative project at The National Archives fosters embodied interaction with national collections. The Engaging Crowds project, which promotes public participation in heritage research, is an instance of how collaboration in virtual space engenders the creation and sharing of knowledge. Both projects are funded by AHRC as part of the Towards a National Collection research programme.

In this workshop we will explore how embodiment can be and has been applied to digital objects and practice in CH collections. We will do this via three interwoven critical interventions: digital objects (digital collections, interfaces, tangible computing), situated interaction (how context shapes meaning) and virtual connections (collaboration and communication in digital rather than physical space (Computer-supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), crowd-sourcing and citizen research, knowledge-sharing).

Our focus on digital materiality and data as artefact might be of distinct relevance to Cultural Heritage (CH) and Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) researchers and practitioners. With a particular focus on automation and on citizen research as two complementary approaches to understanding and engaging audiences with data at the scale of our collections, and linking them to other collections, we understand HCI as central to this work.

We welcome papers from Early Career Researchers; the workshop will be a collaborative space in which to test theories and gain feedback on ideas. Significantly, this is a markedly interdisciplinary workshop, aiming to forge critical, theoretical and methodological connections between the fields of HCI and Digital Scholarship. All accepted participants will benefit from having their position papers published in Electronic Workshops in Computing series (eWics) providing they meet the formatting requirements.

TOPICS

We invite submissions of short papers addressing themes including, but not limited to, cultural heritage and:

*            Digital mapping, spatial (dis)embodiment and spatial representation in large scale heritage collections and datasets: fuzzy geographies, geo-referencing, geographical information systems (GIS)

*            Interaction with models, simulations and digital twins

*            Creativity, co-creativity and co-production

*            Locative media and Spatial Computing (VR, AR, and MR)

*            Tangible computing, the Internet of Things, digital materiality, digital objects/artefacts, data as artefact

*            Bodies of information/digital bodies: Machine Learning and AI, exploring and visualising uncertainty and polyvocality in large scale heritage collections

*            The post-digital: unsettling the boundary between analogue, digital, and born-digital, between material and immaterial artefacts

*            Distributed experience, mediated presence, networks and networking (open linked data), individuality (personal devices), and community (crowd-sourcing, citizen research)

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Short papers up to four pages excluding references

Posters up to 2 pages excluding references

Email submissions to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Paper formats and templates at: https://www.bcs.org/more/learned-publishing/electronic-workshops-in-computing-ewic

IMPORTANT DATES

  • Submission by 15th June
  • Notifications by 22nd June
  • Camera-ready by 30th June
  • Workshop on 19th July

WORKSHOP CHAIRS

Rebecca Hutcheon (The National Archives, UK) John Moore (The National Archives, UK) Eirini Goudarouli (The National Archives, UK) Duncan Hay (UCL, UK) Christian Sauer (University of Hildesheim, Germany)

RLUK Digital Shift Forum - Digital Poverty and the role of libraries (19 May) and Engaging with AI in research libraries (16 June)

Digital Shift Forum - #RLUKDSF

RLUK’s Digital Shift Forum brings together colleagues from across the information, research, cultural and heritage communities to discuss the future of the digital shift in research library collections, services, and audiences.

19 May 2021, 14.00-16.00 (BST): Click here to register. Digital poverty, inclusion, and the role of research libraries: A cross-sector international symposium

This symposium will take a holistic, cross-sector, and international look at the issues of digital poverty and exclusion, and the role of society, higher-education, libraries, and research libraries in particular, in combating these challenges. It will do this through a facilitated conversation between discussants and audience members. It will be highly interactive and delegates are encouraged to actively participate in its discussions both on screen and via chat.

Discussants include:

  *   Catherine Mills, Head of Digital Social Inclusion, The Good Things Foundation

  *   Hannah Holmes, Research Associate, Centre for Planning and Housing Research, University of Cambridge

  *   Christopher Hale, Director of Policy, Universities UK

  *   Sue Williamson, Director of Libraries, Arts Council England

  *   Trevor Dawes, Vice Provost for Libraries and Museums and May Morris University Librarian, University of Delaware

  *   Joe Lucia, Dean of Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

This symposium will be chaired and facilitated by Kirsty Lingstadt, Head of Digital Library and Deputy Director of Libraries and Archives, University of Edinburgh, and Michelle Blake, Director of Libraries and Archives (interim), University of York. Both Kirsty and Michelle are members of RLUK’s Digital Shift working group.

16 June 2021, 14:00-15:00 (BST). Click here to register. Engaging with Artificial Intelligence in Research Libraries: Amanda Wheatley, Liaison Librarian for Management, Business, and Entrepreneurship, and Sandy Hervieux, Virtual Reference Coordinator and Liaison Librarian for Political Science, Philosophy, and the School of Religious Studies, McGill University, Canada.

As artificial intelligence becomes a popular topic in the news and popular culture, Research Libraries are experiencing an increase in available technology using AI. As the AI environment grows, it will become more and more important for librarians to familiarize themselves with these applications, their benefits, challenges, and implications. This presentation will examine North American academic librarian perceptions of AI, as well as the current state of AI strategic preparedness from research universities. The presenters will also discuss a series of workshops that they created to educate academic library users on artificial intelligence.

RCPE launches website on Victorian Highlands and Islands medicine

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh has launched its new website, Remote & Rural Remedies.  

At its core, Remote And Rural Remedies features a digitised and transcribed collection of surveys conducted by the College in the mid-19th century to investigate medical practice in the Scottish Highlands & Islands. These records feature fascinating details about the care that was available to remote communities, the challenges faced by practitioners and the opinions of the survey respondents. Inspired by this collection, RCPE have created accompanying school activities, blog posts, videos and online exhibitions to provide context and support different avenues of engagement.

This resource also includes interviews with doctors and nurses currently practicing in the Highlands & Islands – uncovering stories of the challenges of dealing with medical emergencies, COVID-19 and the medical conditions faced by those living in the Highlands & Islands.

Daisy Cunynghame, Head of Heritage, says: “These records demonstrate the College’s long history of conducting research into healthcare provision and medical practice with the aim of regulating the profession to protect the public. We are excited to bring this collection to the public eye and very proud of the efforts of colleagues and volunteers that were involved in creating this web resource.  Researchers now have access to digitised records which highlight the challenges of medical aid and healthcare in the Highlands and Islands at a time of increasing social, industrial and economic upheaval. Our hope is that the website becomes a hub of continued activity for our audiences to learn about, discuss and reflect on remote and rural medicine in Scotland both then and now.”

Naturally, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it has once again highlighted the issue of sufficient and regular medical care and supply in remote areas. This newly launched website will enable allow current medical practitioners and allied health professionals to contribute to the discussion by submitting their own survey. In these surveys, the College invites practitioners to share their experiences and perspective on remote and rural medicine today as well as and how much and what which aspects have changed over time.

“There are, probably, few men in any situation, who undergo greater hardships in the

               discharge of professional duty, so continuously, and with so little prospect of reward,

               than do these Highland Practitioners”

- 1852 Report on Surveys on Existing Deficiency of Medical Practitioners in the Highlands and Islands

Announcing the Completion of Mapping Jewish London (MJL)

‘Mapping Jewish London'is AIM25’s contribution to the pan-European Yerusha project that will enable researchers to cross-search online catalogues of archive collections relating to the history of Jewish people, organisations, culture or events, and is funded by the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe. AIM25, focused on London, is a charity that promotes access to the capital’s archives and as a consequence of Mapping Jewish London it has uncovered more than 800 relevant collections that will shine light on Jewish archival heritage held in no less than 45 of London’s archives, libraries and museums.

In deciding how to share this project, we have opted to publish three short interviews with team members and archivists. We hope to organise a Zoom conference at a later date and to invite members of the Jewish community, scholars and information professionals to explore the issues raised by the project and the potential for this work to be carried further, as MJL has only connected with a fraction of the material that exists in London. The interviews may be viewed at: Mapping Jewish London - YouTube

Now that ‘Mapping Jewish London’(MJL) has drawn to a close, it is worth reflecting on the breadth of Jewish holdings in London’s many archives and museums and to stress that this project brief changed and ultimately looked at material that was already catalogued to identify and occasionally enhance the Jewish connection to the material.   As part of the project, searches of over 200 repositories in the capital identified thousands of Jewish collections, with the 800 most significant aggregated into Yerusha portal.

These collections span many centuries and include institutional and personal collections covering science, medicine, religion, philanthropy, literature, academia, art, music, politics, society, finance, healthcare, local government and education, as well as other topics.  They include manuscripts, objects, visual material, audio and paintings created and left behind by women and men. Clearly, it would be impossible to capture the essence of this rich array of material here, but we felt it important to give at examples of the kinds of material MJL sought out to include.

Archives users will know that people are at the heart of historical records and Yerusha has revealed some extraordinary individuals. As we know, thousands of Jewish men and women from all walks of life sought refuge in Britain during the Nazi regime and many of their private papers have survived. The Imperial War Museum and The Wiener Holocaust Library house a significant number of Jewish personal collections, telling the traumatic stories of ordinary people whose lives were ripped apart in the early 20th century.

Oral and family history researchers can listen to and read harrowing stories recorded by the people who experienced them.  Among the hundreds of such IWM collections is a recording with Eva Mitchell, who fled to Britain in 1939 .  Her interview highlights the impact of anti-Jewish legislation on her family life and education. She recounts the attack on her family home during Kristallnacht in 1938 and, later, her escape to rural England where she found peace.

Jewish migration to Britain long predates the 20th century and can be traced back to centuries earlier.  Having been expelled from England in the late 13thcentury, it was not until the mid-17th century that Jews were permitted to return and the records identified by MJL reflect this. Although the British Library holds collections of ancient Jewish liturgical manuscripts dating back to at least the medieval period, most of the collections gathered by MJL relate to the 1700s onwards, with a heavy focus on the 19th and 20th centuries.

 An example of 18thCentury material includes papers of Emanuel Mendes da Costa Da Costa’s mercantile family escaped Jewish persecution in Portugal to settle in Rouen, France, arriving in London in the early 1700s, where Emanuel was born in 1717.He was the ninth child, but went on to flourish as a botanist, naturalist and philosopher, gaining fellowship of the Royal Society in 1747, among the first Jewish fellows to be elected.  His records are held across three repositories.

The Royal Society hold wonderful illustrations of his findings, as well as his financial account books, which researchers can mine for evidence of his fascinating life and work; the British Library holds manuscripts and a commonplace book, a treasure trove of personal, professional and anecdotal insights; and among his papers in the Royal College of Surgeons archives are his catalogues of fossils. 

MJL has highlighted other historical collections which pertain to the Jewish experience but which also resonate with modern life as the Yvonne Kapp Papers, a political activist and writer, born in London in 1903 to prosperous Jewish immigrant parents. Kapp’s papers detail the contribution she made in aiding Jewish refugees arriving in Britain during the pre-WW2 period.  In addition to working with Jewish refugees, she also worked with the largest single influx of refugees in British history -4000 Basque children evacuated from Spain during the Civil War. Kapp was appointed assistant director of the Czech Refugee Trust Fund in the late 1930s,and researchers with an interest in Jewish history, refugees and refugee organisations can explore the minutes and papers of this organisation within this collection at University of London’s Senate House Library.

Questions regarding ‘Mapping Jewish London’ can be sent to Rachel Howse Binnington, Project Co- Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. More information regarding the Yerusha project can be found at www.yerusha.eu.Questions regarding AIM25 may be sent to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The interviews may be viewed at: Mapping Jewish London - YouTube

New British Standard on Records Management is introduced

Following a two-month public consultation in late 2020, BS 10025, a new Code of practice for the management of records, was published in late April 2021.

The Code provides practical guidance for those responsible for managing the data, documents and information that an organisation produces, receives and accumulates in the delivery of its operations and activities. It will be of particular value to those responsible for leading records management within their organisation (or supporting records management in a department or business unit) but who might not be familiar with records management principles and best practice. By providing an understanding of the wider records management framework, it will also help those tasked with supporting specific areas of records management, for example those developing IT systems being used to capture, process and store records.

For the first time in a British or International standard, the new Code brings together guidance and recommendations on all the different elements of records management that an organisation needs to have in place. The guidance applies to all organisations irrespective of their size, complexity or operating environments. It is relevant to organisations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, including agencies, authorities, charities, companies, corporations, government departments, institutions, partnerships, universities and sole traders.

The new Code is ground-breaking in that is has been written in a way which enables the reader to use whichever terms work best for them and their organisation for what they produce, receive and accumulate – whether that’s data, documents, information or records (or a combination of these and other related terms).

Rod Stone, Chairman of the BSI Records Management Committee and ARA Representative, comments: “All those working for an organisation have a role to play in the management of its records, and this new Code provides an excellent foundation for them. Although the Code is not a ‘management system’ standard or a compliance standard, it is guidance that has been written in a way which enables organisations to demonstrate they are applying the guidance and following good practice.”

Click here to purchase the new Code of practice.  

Information Resource: In-house vs. Outsourcing Digitisation

Having recently explored some top tips for writing successful funding applications in its downloadable Funding Resource Pack, which can be found here, TownsWeb Archiving wanted to go further and explore the two main options available for digitising archive collections: inhouse and outsourcing.

Consequently, TownsWeb Archivingtalked to Abby Matthews (Archive and Family History Centre Manager, who digitised inhouse) and Julia Parks (Project Manager, who digitised through outsourcing) about the different methods, the processes involved, the unique hurdles and the successful outcomes of their tried and tested approaches. This resource provides a neat and thorough analysis, enabling readers to compare and contrast the options, while gathering some really useful hints and tips for getting it right first time.

This resource should prove helpful to any archive holder thinking about undertaking a digitisation project, supporting them to make well informed choices about the methods that best suit their needs, resources and budgets.

Both Abby and Julia’s projects achieved great success and you will find some wonderful images and links to the work they carried out. You can find our information resource and follow their unique journeys here.  

Enhancing ePADD with Preservation Functionality - ePADD+

We are delighted to announce a new collaborative project between Harvard University, The University of Manchester and Stanford University to enhance our collective capacity to archivally acquire, process, preserve, and make available email collections. As critical documentation of life in the digital age, the preservation of email is central to the mission and values of archives and archivists.

This project, entitled Integrating Preservation Functionality into ePADD or ePADD+ in brief, will integrate long-term email preservation functionality into Stanford University's open-source email archiving software program, ePADD. The enhanced product will provide the digital archiving community with a tool comprehensively supporting the full email archiving lifecycle more robustly.

The 18-month project was generously awarded $100,000 through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Email Archives: Building Capacity and Community (EA:BCC) program. EA:BCC is a re-grant program administered through Illinois and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that seeks to build email archiving capacity in archives, libraries, and museums. The proposed activities are a direct outcome of recommendations from The Future of Email Archives report, also funded by the Mellon Foundation, which emphasizes the importance of better interoperability and integration between the many disparate email archiving tools that have surfaced in the digital archiving community.

"The University of Manchester Library is delighted to be a co-partner in this international collaborative venture to augment the ground breaking work of both Harvard and Stanford Universities in the field of email archives. The ePADD+ project represents an important next step in the development of integrated tools to support the processing and preservation of email archives and will significantly benefit those engaged in this field of work within the UK and internationally," Professor Christopher Pressler, John Rylands University Librarian and Director of The University of Manchester Library.

Because the requirements of preservation infrastructure and workflows vary greatly across institutions, the enhanced ePADD will support functions for local customization and extensibility. The three project partners will each utilize this capability to configure ePADD for their different organizational contexts. The software development activity will align with open-source best practices in order to support wider community contribution to ePADD and better software sustainability.

"As our current extended ePADD+ team tackles preservation, the next component of the curation lifecycle for email archiving, Stanford Libraries Department of Special Collections is looking forward to consulting with Harvard University and The University of Manchester on this crucial cycle of work for the ePADD Project<https://library.stanford.edu/projects/epadd>," Glynn Edwards, Assistant Director, Special Collections, Stanford Libraries.

For updates on the ePADD+ project:

  *   Visit the project page on the ePADD website

  *   Follow the #ePADD+ project on Twitter @e_padd

Inc Arts launches anti-racism tool for cultural sector

Unlock is a toolkit for the creative and cultural sector to take measurable action against racism.

Unlock gives arts organisations practical steps to take anti-racist action. Unlock has in it over 100 actions that will help creative work places become more inclusive. The process is entirely confidential: at the heart of the Unlock toolkit is a commitment to give everyone equal treatment through trust, confidence, dignity and respect.

The toolkit can be found here.  

School of Scottish Studies Archives celebrates its 70th anniversary

This year the School of Scottish Studies Archives (SSSA) celebrates its 70th anniversary.

"Where artistry and everyday life meet" - In 1951 the School of Scottish Studies began collecting images, stories and voices of the Scottish lives that had been often overlooked. As its famed Archive celebrates its 70th anniversary, its impact still resonates.

Do follow our celebrations on Twitter, where we are @EU_SSSA, using #SSSAat70, and on our blog: http://libraryblogs.is.ed.ac.uk/sssa/category/blog/

Throughout the year, staff and guest bloggers will be contributing to a fascinating series on the archives in 70 objects: http://libraryblogs.is.ed.ac.uk/sssa/sssa-in-70-objects , so be sure to bookmark the page and keep in touch.

DPC RAM 2.0 now available!

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) relaunches an updated version of its Rapid Assessment Model (or DPC RAM) this week.

Designed to enable rapid benchmarking of an organisation's digital preservation capability, the DPC RAM is a digital preservation maturity modelling tool applicable to organisations of any size in any sector, and for all content of long-term value.

Originally developed in conjunction with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority in the UK and first launched in 2019, the DPC RAM uses existing good practice to offer a model which is easy to understand, quick to apply and freely available for anyone to use.

Version 2 of DPC RAM retains its existing structure of 11 sections and 5 maturity levels and the examples provided within the model now cover additional areas such as user needs, ethics, environmental sustainability, accessibility, organisational strategy and continuity planning. Other changes to the model have focused on ensuring consistency and clarity.

Click here to find out more.

NUI Galway project to digitise letters from emigrants over hundreds of years

Archivists in Galway are starting work on a project to digitise thousands of letters sent home by emigrants to America, featuring transcripts of material sent from the late 1600s to the mid-1950s. Click here for further details.

New web-based resource for community archives launched

Are you a community or family archivist who would like some friendly guidance and support? If so, the new web resource created by archive professionals at Gloucestershire Archives could be just what you‘re looking for. There are plenty of areas to look at, including non- technical, down to earth advice on how to keep digital records safe into the future. Click here to access the new resource.

UNESCO News on Memory of the World Programme

The UNESCO Documentary Heritage Unit is pleased to share two pieces of news on the Memory of the World (MoW) Programme.

  1. MoW Global Policy Forum: 21st-22nd September 2021 in Paris.

The 2nd MoW Global Policy Forum will take place from 21st to 22nd September 2021 in Paris. Subject to Host Country rules governing Covid-19, the event is scheduled to be held as a hybrid, incorporating physical and virtual participation. It focuses on disaster risk reduction and management for sustainable preservation of documentary heritage. For details and to register, please visit this UNESCO web page.  

2) ‘Documentary Heritage at Risk -A Pilot Survey’ report is now available.

This pilot survey by UNESCO aimed to assess the extent of disaster risk to which memory institutions had been exposed, and how they had addressed them as a matter of emergency preparedness. The report includes various key findings and recommendations not only for memory institutions but to all stakeholders, including the policymakers and the international community. We hope that the survey report will inspire your activities and policy-making. For details, please visit this UNESCO web page.

Business Archives Council Announce 2021 Cataloguing Grant

BAC is excited to announce that this year’s cataloguing grant for business archives is a one-off bumper grant! This year a single grant of £7,000 is available. Funding has been provided by BAC and the former Archives and Artefacts Studies Network (A2SN).

BAC is delighted to have the support this year of the Community Archives and Heritage Group. The decision on the award of the grant will be made by a Cataloguing Grant Panel established by BAC which consists of two executive committee members, one non-executive member and a member of the Community Archives and Heritage Group. Panel members will not judge applications where they have a research or employment affiliation.

The Cataloguing Grant for Business Archives (2021) launches on 12th April 2021. The deadline for applications is 25th June 2021.  Further information, including guidance notes can be found here.

Any questions about The Cataloguing Grant for Business Archives should be addressed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Free Funding Resource Pack

TownsWeb Archiving has released a Funding Resource Pack. If you are the holder of an archive collection then you have no doubt embarked upon, or considered embarking upon, a digitisation project. You will also be aware that this comes at a cost. Securing funding is often where most projects fail to get off the ground and it is the primary reason for our annual TWA Digitisation Grant.

You can sign up for TownsWeb Archiving’s free funding focused resources by following the link below whereupon you will be directed to Debbie Cooper’s (Manager for PCN, Producer for FORMAT Festival, previous Fundraising Manager for Museums Sheffield and Artist and Photographer) successfully tried and tested advice on ‘How to Write When You’ve Got a Need’. You will also receive, direct to your email, TownsWeb Archiving’s funding pack, which consists of three downloadable resources that have been heavily informed and developed by industry experts. You will then continue to receive free focused resources over the coming weeks, to make the whole process that bit easier.

Grants are a really prudent and practical way of overcoming what has become one of the most significant barriers to digitisation. However, applying for funding can often feel a bit ‘hit and miss’ and can take an awful lot of time and focus. TownsWeb Archiving wanted to open up the process to make it more accessible, securing guidance from those who have themselves achieved success. 

Click here to opt in and receive all of the above.

Pragmatic Audiovisual Preservation: DPC releases new Technology Watch Report

First released to its members on World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) is pleased to announce the public launch of its latest Technology Watch Report, Pragmatic Audiovisual Preservation by Ashley Blewer.

A specialist in video, digital preservation workflows and infrastructure, Ashley currently works for Artefactual and acknowledged that the preservation of audiovisual materials remains a challenging topic, saying: "Moving beyond the complexity of audiovisual materials and the urgency around digitization, concepts related to significant technical characteristics and the impact each has on digital audiovisual files can be very daunting."

Her report for the DPC, Pragmatic Audiovisual Preservation, aims to provide easily digestible - and pragmatic - guidance for practitioners with a basic knowledge of digital preservation concepts and archival practices, but without expertise in audiovisual materials.

Click here to read the report.

DPC releases new Technology Watch Guidance Note – Which checksum algorithm should I use?

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) has launched the next in its series of Technology Watch Guidance Notes entitled ‘Which checksum algorithm should I use?’ by Matthew Addis today.

As the title suggests, Which checksum algorithm should I use? is intended to help answer one of the perennial questions in digital preservation. Starting by defining key terms, the report goes on to identify the reasons for using checksums and the algorithms which could be applied, before providing practical advice on where to store checksums as well as some of the tools available to create checksums and perform fixity checks.

This new Technology Watch Guidance Note and the rest of the series complements the DPC’s popular Technology Watch Reports and is designed to be a ‘bite-sized’ paper that might contain information about a problem, a solution, or a particular implementation of digital preservation and will provide a short briefing on advanced digital preservation topics.

Click to:

  *   Click here to read the story in full

  *   Click here to read ‘Which checksum algorithm should I use?

  *   Click here to discover the whole Technology Watch Series

  *  Click here to find out more about joining the DPC  

SCA guidance on creating online exhibitions

The Scottish Council on Archives has produced resources about creating online exhibitions. There is an introductory ten-minute video and two recorded webinar sessions on this subject. Click here for more information.

New Cleaning and Disinfecting Guide

Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) is a global library cooperative that provides shared technology services, original research and community programs for its membership and the library community at large. As part of its Reopening Archives, Libraries and Museums project (REALM), OCLC has published a Cleaning and Disinfecting guide containing advice for when services reopen to the public. The guide can be downloaded here.

The UK National Archives’ latest COVID-19 guidance

The UK National Archives has updated its guidance in response to the latest national lockdown. Its latest COVID-19 update can be found here and its updated checklist for planning short-term service changes can be found here.  The business continuity checklist is designed to support services at a point when access is being reduced during the pandemic.  

The (UK) National Archives: TNA updated useful resources webpage can be found here:  

https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archives-sector/our-archives-sector-role/coronavirus-update/other-useful-resources/

Archives Unlocked Strategic Priorities 2020-22

The Strategic Priorities 2020-22 of Archives Unlocked, the UK National Archives’ collaborative vision for the UK archives sector have been announced.  To adapt to this year's challenges, an online version of this publication has been created so that anyone can refer to the strategic priorities, wherever they are.

Our Strategic Priorities 2020-22 build on our previous one-year action plans and outline the work that we are doing to deliver the Archives Unlocked vision. We have arranged each of the priorities under the three ambitions of Archives Unlocked: trust, openness and enrichment.

In previous action plans, our actions for each ambition focused on the themes of digital capacity, resilience and impact. While these themes remain as relevant as ever, we are now widening our focus to include the themes of diversity and inclusion, innovation and risk, advocacy and reputation, and health and wellbeing. This will allow us to give greater attention to issues affecting us all, both within the archives sector and beyond.

Please visit our Archives Unlocked web page to see the progress that we've already made since the last action plan in late 2019.

The (UK) National Archives (TNA) has released a series of advocacy resources to convey the value of digital archives and the need to act now to preserve them. The new resources are part of TNA’s Plugged In Powered Up digital capacity building strategy.

The first resource is a short video which introduces the digital challenge and explains how TNA is here to help. It highlights the impact that small steps can make and the importance of developing digital preservation, access and engagement skills.

TNA’s leaflet for decision makers complements the video and explains why organisations must invest in the digital management of archives. It also warns of the risks of failing to preserve digital assets.

A second leaflet is for archive professionals themselves and lists the ways in which TNA can support archive professionals with advice and free skills training. 

Museum Freelance survey findings now out

Museum Freelance – the organisation which delivered freelancer training for the ARA in March 2020 – has unveiled the findings of its survey into freelancers and freelancing with museums, galleries, heritage sites, libraries and archives.

The findings cover who freelancers are, their day rates, their motivations and challenges, as well as the Museum Freelance’s recommendations for organisations and freelancers, its next steps and much more.

You can view the full survey report, watch a recording from a presentation highlighting the findings the Museum Freelance gave to sector organisations and read a news release about the survey.

From Survival to Sustainability – support for the heritage sector during the COVID-19 pandemic

Rebuilding Heritage is a free support programme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to help the heritage sector respond to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It aims to build confidence in a time of crisis by supporting individuals and organisations to overcome immediate challenges and plan for a sustainable future. It will provide training, advice, and support through:

  • one-to-one and group coaching and training sessions
  • opportunities for knowledge sharing
  • open access webinars
  • online guides and case studies

The programme is coordinated by The Heritage Alliance and will be delivered through a partnership with Clore LeadershipCreative United, the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, and Media Trust. It is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

REALM Project Test Results: Longevity of Coronavirus on materials

As part of the REALM Project’s research, Battelle has conducted four natural attenuation studies to provide information on how long the Coronavirus may survive on materials common to archives, libraries, and museums. The studies were conducted by applying the virulent SARS-CoV-2 virus on five materials held at standard room temperature (68°F to 75°F) and relative humidity conditions (30 to 50 percent). The materials were a hardback book cover, a softcover book cover, a plastic protective cover, a DVD case and expanded polyethylene foam.

Results show that after six days of quarantine the SARS-CoV-2 virus was still detected on all five materials tested.

Click here for full details of the test results.

Open Preservation Foundation (OPF) publishes digital preservation community survey results

The findings report and raw data from the OPF digital preservation community survey are now available on the OPF website - https://openpreservation.org/news/digital-preservation-community-survey-results-published/

With responses gathered from 98 organisations in 31 countries, the results provide an interesting snapshot of the digital preservation landscape today.

Community archives toolkit

The Norfolk Record Office is running a ‘Community Archives: Skills, Support and Sustainability’ project to enable community archive groups to preserve, manage and provide access to their historical collections through guidance, training and resources. The project has created a Community archives toolkit that explains how to collect, catalogue, digitise and preserve archive material.

The project also monitors the Norfolk Archives Network Forum, where community archive groups can promote their collections, network with their peers and request professional help. The Norfolk Record Office would like to thank the National Lottery Heritage Fund for their valuable role in funding the Community Archives project and would also like to thank National Lottery players for making this project possible.

#NationalLotteryHeritageFund

@HeritageFundM_E

www.archives.norfolk.gov.uk

Follow @BLSoundHeritage on Twitter or visit http://www.bl.uk/projects/save-our-sounds.

Historic England: latest guidance from Historic England on cleaning and disinfecting historic surfaces https://historicengland.org.uk/coronavirus/historic-places/cleaning-disinfecting-historic-surfaces/

Arts Council England are administering a separate portion of the DCMS funding to arts and cultural organisations (both non-profit and for-profit) based in England. More details can be found here.

The British Film Institute are also administering the Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas in England, on behalf of the UK Government. Details can be found here

The (UK) National Archives: TNA updated useful resources webpage can be found here:

https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archives-sector/our-archives-sector-role/coronavirus-update/other-useful-resources/

ICOM and UNESCO’s COVID-19 reports findings for museums and museum professionals

To gather information on how the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak is affecting and will affect the cultural sector in the short and long term, ICOM launched a global survey to analyse the impact of lockdowns. The survey covered five themes: the current situation for museums and staff, predicted economic impact, digital and communication, museum security and conservation of collections, freelancer museum professionals. The report has analysed almost 1,600 responses from museums and museum professionals, in 107 countries and across continents, which were collected between 7 April and 7 May 2020.

In parallel, UNESCO Report ‘Museums Around the World in the Face of COVID-19’ (May 2020) contains the results of UNESCO’s world-wide survey conducted on the impact of COVID-19 on museums. The report provides new insights into the numbers and key trends of museums around the world, the measures museums have taken in response to the pandemic and actions proposed for the aftermath of the crisis. The report underscores the resilience of museums, as well as the challenges they face in their efforts to continue to promote access to culture.

Read the full ICOM report on the ICOM website.

Read the full UNESCO report on the UNESCO website.

 
ICON Conservation and care of collections during the coronavirus pandemic: Guidance produced by the UK Heads of Conservation Group for museums and other organisations trying to care for collections during the coronavirus lockdown.
 
ICO Data protection and coronavirus information hub: Regularly updated advice and guidance.
 
The following 'Covid-19 Resources Roundup' spreadsheet has been compiled to help small and medium sized institutions access the most useful advice and assist the response to lockdown and reopening.  Covid19 Resources Roundup V8 compiled by Victoria Stevens ACR
 
Dealing with FOI enquiries during the coronavirus crisis: guidance from the FOIMan blog.
 
Scottish Natural Heritage
 
Historic Environment Scotland
 
Historic England
 
SSE Enterprise: Guidance from SSE Enterprise on the ways in which building services can be used to reduce the spread of COVID-19, with a particular focus on ventilation and air conditioning.

https://sseenergyoptimisation.co.uk/stay-safe-with-sse-how-to-use-building-services-to-help-prevent-the-spread-of-covid-19/

CADW: the Welsh Government's historic environment service
 
Arts Council England’s Emergency Funding Package
Details of the Arts Council’s emergency funding for National Portfolio Organisations, organisations outside the National Portfolio, and individuals. There is also information for organisations that are currently in receipt of funding from the Arts Council and details of further support available from government and non-government sources.
www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19
 
Arts Council of Northern Ireland
The latest guidance for the arts sector in Northern Ireland on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
 
The National Lottery Heritage Fund
Details of the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Emergency Fund, providing short-term funding for organisations delivering heritage projects or running previously funded projects, and safeguarding heritage sites that the National Lottery Heritage Fund has previously invested in.
 
The Heritage Council of Ireland
 
Canadian Conservation Institute: Caring for Heritage Collections during the COVID-19 Pandemic
 
Canadian Association for the Protection of Cultural Property: Detailed guidance on caring for heritage collections during the COVID-19 pandemic, including specific advice against using disinfectants when cleaning collections.
 
The Yale University COVID-19 Contingency Planning Public Health Committee has reviewed the most recent research into how long the SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes the disease, COVID-19) is active on surfaces for a certain amount of time and has concluded that the virus is no longer infectious on surfaces after 36 hours. It should also be noted that the likelihood of getting infected with the virus from an object or surface is low in a non-healthcare facility setting when practicing good personal hygiene. Click here for further information (link to PDF).
 
Museum Freelance Network - dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak as a freelancer: Emergency resources for freelancers.
 
Arts Council England Guidance: Closed venues and sites – advice on meeting security and environmental conditions for GIS and general collections purposes.
 
Taylor & Francis (ARA Journal publishers): COVID-19: free-to-access novel coronavirus content. This new microsite provides links and references to all relevant COVID-19 research articles, book chapters and information in support of the global efforts in diagnosis, treatment, prevention and further research into COVID-19.
 
Europeana - supporting galleries, libraries, archives, and museums: Supporting cultural heritage professionals in advice for the time of COVID-19.
 
The Digital Repository of Ireland - COVID-19: Playing our Part: The Digital Repository of Ireland has identified several key areas for support.
 
The Oral History Society: The society gives advice on the practicalities and ethics of remote interviewing, as well as some technical guidance.
 
Mass Observation Archive: advice and guidance from the Mass Observation Archive for community archives who might wish to collect material on their own community’s experience and diaries of the pandemic. They could either participate in or take example/guidance from this project.
 
The Society of American Archivists: a resource kit and guidance on documenting in times of crisis.
www2.rchivists.org/advocacy/documenting-in-times-of-crisis-a-resource-kit
 
Historic England: guidance from Historic England on how to clean historic surfaces

https://historicengland.org.uk/coronavirus/historic-places/cleaning-historic-surfaces/

An article about how to treat books during COVID-19: http://blog.bne.es/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/How-to-act-with-books-in-the-face-of-the-risk-of-COVID-19.pdf

The Institute of Museum and Library Services: Details of a COVID-19 Research Partnership to inform safe handling of collections, reopening practices for libraries, Museums: https://www.imls.gov/news/covid-19-research-partnership-inform-safe-handling-collections-reopening-practices-libraries
 
Explore your Archive: useful toolkits including guidance on using social media to promote archives and records: https://www.exploreyourarchive.org
 
Naomi Korn Associates: useful copyright and data protection resources, including one on social media, from Naomi Korn Associates who specialise in copyright, data protection and licensing. www.naomikorn.com/resources
 
Reopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM): Sign up for updates from a US-based project, Reopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM), which is testing how long the Coronavirus remains active on collection material: https://www.webjunction.org/explore-topics/COVID-19-research-project.html
 
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA): This IFLA document summarises different responses internationally to the question of how long to quarantine books. See the section on 'Handling Materials'. For example, in France it's 72 hours for paper but 10 days for plastic-coated materials. https://www.ifla.org/covid-19-and-libraries#handling
 
Library of Congress: The findings of a research project on the impact of hand sanitisers on collection materials. https://www.loc.gov/preservation/scientists/projects/sanitize.html
 
International Council On Archives: A statement from the International Council on Archives entitled ‘COVID-19: The duty to document does not cease in a crisis, it becomes more essential.’  https://www.ica.org/en/covid-19-the-duty-to-document-does-not-cease-in-a-crisis-it-becomes-more-essential
 
British Standards Institution (BSI): Building on formal guidance issued by UK Government, BSI has developed a new Safe Working Guidance set of guidelines to assist organisations as they adjust the way they work, and protect workers and other people in their workplace from the ongoing risks related to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.  This document will be revised frequently to reflect the dynamic situation, considering comments from users, government guidance, the level of risk and emerging knowledge. https://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/topics/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-guidelines/?utm_source=pardot&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=SM-STAN-PRM-COVID19%2FGuidelines-2005