From the Sector
Here you will find links to useful guidance and information produced by organisations across the heritage sector in response to the current COVID-19 lockdown, as well as details of some of the funding and financial support available for those affected by the pandemic.
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:
Application deadline of 11th March for Round 4 of the Archives Revealed cataloguing grants
Round 4 of the Archives Revealed Cataloguing Grants programme is now open for applications following a comprehensive review. The deadline for applications is 11th March.
Since the launch of these cataloguing grants in 2017, Archives Revealed has funded 26 exciting cataloguing projects that have improved access to previously hidden archive collections across the UK. To continue the success of the programme, we have sought your feedback and made improvements to ensure that we continue to deliver an effective and supportive cataloguing fund for archives.
The programme will continue to be a two-phase funding programme but with a simplified 'Expression of Interest' first phase. Successful applicants after phase 1 will be invited to make a full phase 2 application. Eligible archives can apply for up to £45,000 to catalogue significant archive collections, making them accessible for research and enjoyment.
Full details about eligibility and how to make an application are available 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