NEW EVENT: Liverpool, 13th July 2016 and Project Update

Liverpool Event Registration Opened – 13th July 2016, University of Liverpool, 4pm

The Digitising the Mixed Economy of Welfare in Britain project in pleased to announce our next workshop will take place at Liverpool University on 13th July 2016. This will be a free workshop for staff, trustees or volunteers representing voluntary organisations in Liverpool and the surrounding region to provide information on archives and records. The VAHS_logo_400x400session will showcase some of the history of Liverpool’s rich voluntary and community organisations as well as offer practical advice on starting and running an archives project. It is being run as part of the Voluntary Action History Society conference and will be open to delegates as well as anyone from Liverpool and the surrounding area with an interest in voluntary sector archives. Speakers include Georgina Brewis (Project Director), Rob Baker (Archivist at Blind Veterans UK), Pat Starkey (University of Liverpool and Volunteer at the Liverpool Cathedral Archive), Nigel Mellors (independent researcher who has recently completed a retrospective of the John Moores Foundation) and a speaker from Interchange (a Liverpool charity that facilitates research by social science students in higher education for the benefit of local voluntary and community groups). You can visit the event page for more information about our speakers or sign up for the workshop.

In addition to planning the next round of events, our project team has been at work attending events, securing the deposit of some at-risk organisational archives, conducting research towards a pilot project and building networks across the country of people and organisations with a shared interest in archives, voluntarism, community heritage and policy work. We will tell you more about these networks as they develop, but for now we want to tell you about one or two in particular that may be of interest.

Performing the Archive at UEL in association with the Refugee Archive

On 18th April 2016 we attended a performance by drama students at the University of East London (UEL). Each group devised a fifteen minute piece based on documents students had uncovered in UEL’s collections, notably the Refugee Archive. Performances ranged from a retelling of Pakistani military’s brutality towards Bengalis, the battle over funding between the Arts Council and London theatre company C.A.S.T. in the 1980s to a participatory piece based on discrimination against the artist Ezogunu. The event made us reflect on how voluntary organisations’ archives may have important artistic potential as well as heritage, policy or campaigning uses. You can find out more about the event and UEL’s public engagement work here.

Archives into the Future at the British Library

On 29th February Charlotte Clements, our research assistant, spoke about the project at the British Library and the AHRC project ‘Antislavery Useful Past‘ event ‘Archives into the Future’ which this year focused on the relationship between archives and the third sector. The stimulating event brought archivists, academics, activists, heritage professionals, NGOs and practitioners together to consider the role of archives in future campaigning and activism.

Archives at Risk Workshop at The National Archives

The National Archives held a one-day workshop on 10th February to consider current issues and processes around ‘at-risk’ archives, which was attended by Charlotte. This is a significant issue that we are encountering all too often – as voluntary organisations close, they sometimes need to find a home for their archives in a hurry. We were pleased to see TNA show leadership of this issue as they seek to form a response and network to continue to work on this very real problem. We’ll be updating you on the archives we have been helping to place in due course.

If you have an event you think we should attend, or want help to promote to voluntary organisations and project partners you can use #volsecarchives on twitter and email c.clements@ucl.ac.uk. In the meantime we look forward to seeing some of you in Liverpool in July!

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