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.
New Season of BAC drop-ins begins with 'Archives Accreditation: Why, What, How, When'.
The Business Archives Council invites you to their new drop-in session on Monday 27 September from 13:00 until 14:00.
We'll be discussing all things Accreditation with our panel who range from the Accreditation guru at TNA to archivists who are still wondering whether or not to apply for Accreditation. We'll be talking about how the scheme is changing and adapting, how archivists have tackled the application process and what benefits archives have seen from successful applications.
Whether you've already achieved Accreditation, working towards it, or not really sure if it's for you, this session will offer a range of experiences and opinions.
Click here to register for the event.
Archive Service Accreditation - Invitation to pilot proposed changes to questions around inclusivity - Phase one of the roadmap
The UK National Archives is inviting archive services to pilot a series of new and amended questions and supporting guidance within Archive Service Accreditation that looks at developing elements of equality, diversity and inclusion within the existing standard and to comment on the strengths and weakness of this approach.
This is the first phase of delivering the Roadmap to developing Archive Service Accreditation: inclusive practice within the national standard for archives 2021-2024 and beyond, launched in August 2021.
We are looking for a range of services to participate to ensure that any changes support and reflect changing practice across the archive sector, whether national organisations, local authority services, business archives, university archive services, archives in museums and heritage institutions and that represent all types identified in the programme scalability. Read more here.
The outcome of the pilot will inform any decision to incorporate new questions and guidance in the current standard no earlier than August 2022 and will further inform the scheduled full review of Archive Service Accreditation in 2023. This is both an opportunity to think about inclusive practice within your own archive service and help to influence the Archive Service Accreditation around inclusive practice.
The pilot will run from September 2021 until late December 2021.
A copy of the proposed new questions, amended and additional guidance and feedback questions are available here for reference.
Please indicate in your email whether you would like to complete:
1) three new questions or
2) the new and revised questions and also a feedback survey or
3) the feedback questions alone
Our blog gives further details about the Programme has been operating during COVID 19 and potential future changes to Archive Service Accreditation.
History Begins at Home Campaign Update Autumn 2021
As the nights draw in, here is the latest on what's happening with the History Begins at Home (HBAH) campaign.
From October, the campaign will move to having monthly, rather than fortnightly, themes. Themes scheduled to the end of 2021 are:
- October: Environment #HBAHEnvironment
- November: Archives at Home #HBAHArchivesAtHome
- December: Festivities #HBAHFestivities
New guidance on orphan works
The UK National Archives and the Intellectual Property Office have produced some new guidance to help archive services that are considering digitising their resources or using copyright materials from their collections in other ways. The guidance suggests possible approaches to registering a collection as an 'orphan work' and, in particular, helps you conduct a diligent search for rights holders. The guidance also explores the existing copyright exceptions and other factors that may allow an archive service to proceed with a digitisation proposal.
You can find the new guidance here.
E-ARK publishes updated Content Information Type Specifications, procedures and supporting guidelines
The E-ARK eArchiving Content Information Type Specifications, procedures and guidelines have been published, following a review period.
We’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the draft documents - your contributions to this work have been crucial to moving the specifications forward for wider community adoption.
The updated documents are available on the DILCIS Board webpage.
This is the first updated set of specifications and supporting documentation to be published in this cycle of the eArchiving Building Block. Further Common Specifications for the Information Packages and E-ARK SIP/AIP/DIP will be published at the end of October. This update will include improvements to the handling of issues recorded in GitHub and will address recommendations based on our findings during the development of the CITS SIARD.
We are currently looking into ways to involve contributors as the specifications evolve. If you would like to learn more about the specifications, we invite you to join us for a dedicated event on Tuesday 26 October at 15:00 CEST. The programme is currently under development.
Audio, Moving Images and Raster Images: Three DPC Technology Watch Guidance Notes now available on general release
The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) has made the next three Technology Watch Guidance Notes in the new 'Data Type' series available on general release. The topics covered in the set are: audio file formats, moving images and raster images.
Authored by staff at Artefactual Systems in collaboration with the DPC and developed in conjunction with the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, each of the Guidance Notes in the Data Type series is designed to provide a primer on the current state of community knowledge about types of data commonly encountered by those seeking to preserve digital holdings.
"One of the great benefits I saw from the project was how we learned from each other as we worked through each particular topic," says Kelly Stewart, Chief Archivist at Artefactual and co-author of the notes. "There were many places where we could see common threads throughout all the topics but many other areas that diverged entirely. I am proud of the work that was produced and the folks who produced them. I hope these notes will help those who care for some part of the world's cultural memory to ensure that the evidence of the past is cared for now and in the future."
Click here to read the Technology Watch Guidance Notes.
Online exhibition launch: Lawrence at Magdalen
Magdalen College Archives' new online research portal, Lawrence at Magdalen, combines an online exhibition with a blog and information on our Lawrence collections. Explore the portal here.
Lawrence at Magdalen acts as a portal bringing together all our collections relating to T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935) and his world. Lawrence was a Senior Demy (funded postgraduate) at Magdalen from 1911-1914 and last Monday, 16th August marked his 133rd birthday – a fitting occasion for our portal to mark Magdalen’s reputation as a hub for Lawrence research.
The site is headlined by our online exhibition which explores Lawrence’s many connections to Oxford city and University, his exploits in Arabia and his cultural legacy. This exhibition is based on the widely-acclaimed physical exhibition at Magdalen in 2018-19, curated by Dr Rory McCarthy and Daryl Green. As well as this exhibition, Lawrence of Magdalen highlights our newly-acquired collections relating to Lawrence, which will be made available to researchers for the first time.
Visitors to the website will be able to explore the recently-catalogued papers of D.G. Hogarth (1862-1927), the distinguished archaeologist and mentor of T.E. Lawrence, and the archive of Jeremy Wilson (1944-2017), the authorised biographer of Lawrence, which is currently being catalogued in a three-year project ending in 2023. These two collections contain swathes of previously unseen material including Hogarth’s letters and diaries, and Wilson’s drafts and his eclectic collection of Lawrence research material, which includes items gleaned from a wide variety of researchers contributing to one hundred years of Lawrence research.
Lawrence at Magdalen includes a blog which will feature articles on the latest finds in the Wilson archive, as well as news and events relating to all our Lawrence collections and connections.
UCL Press announces brand new open access resource: Paper Trails: The Social Life of Archives and Collections
Paper Trails brings together a diverse group of people both in its pages and its readership – researchers, practitioners and students – as well as featuring different historical collections (print, object and digital) held in a wide variety of different libraries, museums and archives. Its content is designed to bridge different communities of research and practice. The BOOC format creates a ‘living book’, which is entirely open access and evolves over time, allowing for different formats of pieces to speak in conversation.
The project enables collaboration between sometimes unlikely partners to help break down barriers and to open up the world of historical research. It reveals how the work and methodologies of researchers, academics, education practitioners and students interrelate, providing opportunities for collaborations beyond the usual parameters these fields present.
Paper Trails is organised around four different streams of content, which are:
- Research Stories: Full-length research articles which encourage a focus on research stories to invite a reflective methodology, offering an inclusive and engaged commentary on the work involved in researching, ordering and preserving the past.
- Co-production: Outputs from projects in which non-academic, undergraduate and taught postgraduate audiences collaborate with others (collection professions, academics, members of the public, etc.) to create new work that is based on research collections.
- Collection Profiles: Shorter, descriptive or even narrative pieces that highlight items or collections of interest.
- Engagement: Reflective pieces that focus on a broad range of engagement activities, from the professional’s perspective. These can be case studies, or ‘think pieces’ on particular skills or techniques.
Click here for free access.
Invitation to join ALES AGM on 16th September
The Archives for Learning and Education Section will be holding an AGM on Thursday 16th September at 1pm. This will be an opportunity to meet the ALES committee, review our activities over the last year and have your say on our plans for the future. The AGM will take place on Zoom. To book your place, please complete this booking form. Details will be sent in advance of the meeting.
HSBC History: sharing over 150 years of story, culture and brand heritage
As one of the largest financial organisations in the world, HSBC’s purpose is to ‘open up a world of opportunity’ for its 40 million-plus customers worldwide. The company’s archives map the journey from the early days of its formation in 1865 to the robust, diverse and trusted financial organisation that it has continued to be since then, bringing with it a far reaching and fascinating cultural history.
With over 150 years of unique heritage, HSBC launched its new HSBC History website on 6th July 2021. This website will act as a single point of reference for internal and external stakeholders, facilitating access, research, exploration and discovery of the story of HSBC.
HSBC’s vast digital collection will be managed and shared via the PastView platform, and visitors will be able to uncover a wealth of born-digital and digitised HSBC records and assets in a whole host of new and engaging ways.
In line with HSBC’s purpose, this new history website will create an opportunity for customers to engage and connect with the brand through prints, smuggled wartime notes, 360-degree models, modern banking technologies, menus, photographs, annual reports, banknotes, and much more, enabling them to digitally immerse themselves in the complete HSBC history.
The website can be accessed here.
Revised Section 46 Code of Practice on the Management of Records
The Government has published a revised Section 46 Code of Practice on the Management of Records, providing up-to-date guidance to relevant authorities on the keeping, management and destruction of their records. The revised code was announced in a ministerial statement on transparency and replaces the 2009 version.
The Information Commissioner, the Minister for the Cabinet Office and the Northern Ireland Minister for Communities have been formally consulted by the Secretary of State for DCMS prior to publication. The code has also been subject to a Cabinet Committee write round.
The code's guidance to relevant authorities reflects contemporary information management practice and the modern digital working environment. The code also clarifies the basis on which the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives operates. It is a technical document aimed at supporting information management professionals in public authorities to fulfil their duties under Freedom of Information legislation (FOIA).
For more information, please visit The National Archives’ (UK) website.
RLUK publishes report exploring the role of academic and research libraries in the production of research
RLUK is delighted to publish the results of a major research project exploring the role, and potential role, of research and academic libraries as partners in, and leaders of, research.
The report uses ‘libraries’ as a broad term and includes archives, special collections, museums and galleries within its remit, reflecting the valuable and integral role of colleagues working within these as research partners and leaders, and their inclusion within, or close association with, library structures and operations within many institutions.
The role of academic and research libraries as active participants and leaders in the production of scholarly research. Click here to read the full report and case studies.
This research was commissioned by RLUK, in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and delivered by research consultancy Evidence Base. The report provides a detailed overview of the current role of academic and research libraries as partners and leaders of research, their potential to enhance these roles, and the barriers they might face in doing so. It does so following an extensive series of consultations with library staff, academics, research managers, university leaders, and funders. As part of the study, 10 detailed case studies have been produced that chart the experiences of libraries as partners and leaders of research, drawn from across the UK and internationally.
We would like to thank all of those colleagues who have contributed to this research, whether by completing one of its surveys, being interviewed, or attending one of its events or focus groups.
Significantly, the report makes 13 far-reaching recommendations for libraries, their parent institutions, members of the academic community, RLUK, and the AHRC. RLUK and the AHRC look forward to working with one another, and members of the library and research communities, to take these forward. This includes through the creation of an AHRC-funded early Professional Practice Fellowship for those working in libraries, archives, museums and galleries, in partnership with RLUK, as announced at this year’s DCDC conference.
Born digital archive cataloguing and description: DPC publishes new Technology Watch Guidance Note on Access to digital collections
The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) has made a new Technology Watch Guidance Note - entitled Born digital archive cataloguing and description by Jenny Bunn.
Born digital archive cataloguing and description seeks to provide guidance to support organisations and individuals in making sense of the technological developments relating to the presentation and accessibility of their collection information.
"This new Guidance Note provides a useful insight into the history and development of Collection Description for born digital archives. It provides a framework to help the community navigate this rather complex landscape," says Jenny Mitcham, Head of Good Practice and Standards for the DPC.
"This is an evolving field and there is no single recommended way of approaching the challenge. The strength of this short publication is in summarising work to date and signposting numerous references to follow up on."
This, and other Technology Watch Guidance Notes are 'bite-sized' papers that contain information about a problem, a solution, or a particular implementation of digital preservation and provide short briefings on advanced digital preservation topics.
Further Technology Watch Guidance Notes on a range of digital preservation topics are planned for release in the coming months.
The Technology Watch publication series is just one of the ways the DPC supports the digital preservation community. A charitable foundation and international advocate for digital preservation, the Coalition helps its members around the world to deliver resilient long-term access to digital content and services through community engagement, targeted advocacy work, training and workforce development, capacity building, good practice and standards, and through good management and governance.
Launch of Waterways Ireland Digital Archive
Malcolm Noonan, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, has launched the Waterways Ireland Digital Archive, making the history of the inland waterways more accessible than ever to all.
Unique and irreplaceable; over 7,800 of the 11,000 records including drawings, maps, slides, photos, videos and oral history held by Waterways Ireland, have been digitised, catalogued and uploaded to the searchable website.
Minister Noonan said “I am delighted to launch the Waterways Ireland Digital Archive. For the communities that live along our navigable waterways, those whose families left Ireland via our canals, those who worked on the barges or distributed their wares via the waterway network, and those that study, research and love our heritage, this is a very exciting day. I acknowledge and thank the people and communities who have donated their stories, film, photographs and drawings to Waterways Ireland to conserve and digitise. Through the Waterways Ireland Digital Archive, access to this unique set of stories is available to us all.”
"For the first time visitors will be able to search an online catalogue and view some of the collections held in the Waterways Ireland Archive. The backbone of the archive is the Engineering Collection which is now available online. It contains the original drawings tracing the development of the waterways from their conception in the eighteenth century through to their construction and their ongoing maintenance during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Included are engineer's plans for locks, sluices, bridges and harbours, all providing a fascinating insight into our waterway heritage.”
John McDonagh, CEO of Waterways Ireland, welcomed the launch stating: “The unique collection of items held by Waterways Ireland on behalf of the community represents over 200 years of inland waterway history. The process of digitisation fulfils our need as an organisation to ensure the engineering drawings and documents which were used to construct our navigations continue to be available to the organisation in the future to ensure authentic and appropriate maintenance takes place. More importantly though, the Digital Archive now makes accessible the records of our predecessors who worked, lived, and played along the waterways, enabling them to tell their stories and for them to be shared with our communities, students, academics and anyone with a love of the waterways.”
The new website features two collections personally donated to the Archive; the Ruth Delany Collection and the Ian Bath Collection. These images, scanned from the original transparency slides, showcase their efforts to document the campaigns to keep the waterways open, as well as reflecting their interests in recording the histories of the waterways.
The Oral History Collection features interviews with people with personal connections to the waterways. These are available as short easy to listen extracts and are searchable by waterways, people and by themes. Learning resources have been created around the themes and can be accessed from the learning site.
Nuala Reilly, the Waterways Ireland Archivist said “The launch marks a significant step in preserving and making available our unique collections. These records represent only a small selection of the archive material held by Waterways Ireland. Additional collections will be added to the Digital Archive, as the materials are catalogued, and where possible digitised. Visitors to the Digital Archive will also be able to view themed exhibitions, stories of the waterways and timelines of the waterways.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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 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:
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.
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 Leadership, Creative 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.pdfThe 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