Mobility programme for archives and museums sector announced

International mobility programme for Finnish, British and Irish archivistsand records managers launched by Finnish Institute in London

The Finnish Institute in London is looking for participants to a mobility programme for archives and museums sectors’ professionals in Finland, the UK and Republic of Ireland for 2014-2016.

The mobility programme supports professional development of archives and museums sector professionals by the means of increasing international mobility. The programme encourages participants to learn skills they would never learn at their home organisations, to expand their professional networks and to create new knowledge, thus widening the perspective of participating institutions and disseminating best practices within the professional field.

The programme will focus on a handful of selected key themes that will benefit the whole archive and museum sector in Finland, the UK and Republic of Ireland.

How it works

Participating organisations will send a professional to a hosting organisation for a three-month period to work on a pre-arranged project/topic. Moving professional will report back to the sending organization as well as share the lessons learned within the larger community i.e. museum and archive professionals and curators. Sending organisation covers the salary of the professional for the period of working abroad. The programme will last from 2014 to 2016 and is aiming at moving 8 professionals per year.

The Finnish Institute in London works closely with the key partners, discusses the themes, establishes the contacts between the right stakeholders, is responsible for the practical arrangements and covers the funding of travel and accommodation of the professionals.

The key lessons that were learned will be disseminated during the programme using a set of multiple web-based methods and in a publication, which will be compiled after the programme. Findings will be further promulgated in various fora within the participating countries.

Themes and modules

The programme covers key topics that will be selected together with the participating professionals.

Some of the pre-identified themes relevant for archives professionals include:

• Archive education, popularisation of materials
• Open data
• Copyrights, licenses, the use of resources
• Long-term preservation and accessibility of digital objects
• Preservation of social media contents
• Anonymisation and identification
• Archives and RM in international development

Expected benefits

The programme aims at various benefits. For instance, in the age of rapid digital development there is an urgent need to ensure that archives and records management professionals possess relevant digital information management skills. Also, since most of the information created is now born-digital, there are plenty of unanswered questions regarding the long-term preservation and accessibility of this information. Many of the benefits are relevant for both archives and museum sectors and thus cannot be separated by discipline.

Some of the expected benefits include:

• Increased mobility and professional expertise of archives, museum and records management professionals in Finland, UK and Republic of Ireland
• More accessible and reusable information in Finland, UK and Republic of Ireland
• Archives, museums and records management becoming more prominent in the wider society
• Increased collaboration and stronger international networks between archives, museums and records management professions
• Dissemination of best practices within the museum and archive sectors

Many of the wider-scale societal benefits will be cumulative. For instance, opening up cultural data for software developers’ free reuse is expected to result in various digital innovations. These innovations can result in improved access to rich cultural contents and have various educational, cultural and also economic benefits.

Follow up and evaluation

Project management team will develop a diagnostic tool which will be used to measure the benefits. Many of the benefits will be intangible and therefore difficult to measure by quantitative terms. Specific attention will be paid to developing alternative measurement methods, which will take qualitative assessment into consideration.

How to apply

The programme is open to museum and archive/records management professionals and freelance curators from Finland, the UK and Ireland.

Applications for 2014 should be sent to the Finnish Institute in London by 16 December 2013 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

The applicants are required to
• have more than five years work experience within the museum/archive/records/curatorial sector
• speak and write fluent English
• be able to work in an international environment for approx. three months
• be willing to share the lessons learned with a wider community

The applicants are expected to send
• Motivation letter and an outline of the theme/topic/project of applicant’s interest
• Agreement from the sending organisation
• Applicant’s CV