Welcome to the website of the British Academy Research Project (ARP) ‘Digitising the Mixed Economy of Welfare in Britain’.  This infrastructure project raises awareness of the importance of voluntary sector archives as strategic assets for governance, corporate identity, accountability and research. The project aims to support voluntary sector archives in the preservation and digitisation of their archives and to promote archives as part of the voluntary sector’s wider public benefit responsibility.

The ARP is a partnership between UCL Institute of Education, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and Northumbria University. It aims to:

  • Promote awareness of the importance of voluntary organisations’ archives.
  • Provide support and guidance on preservation and digitisation of archives.
  • Build partnerships between the voluntary sector, academics and archivists to facilitate good practice.

It is funded for an initial five years 2014-2019.  In 2016/17 we received additional funding from a UCL Public Policy grant. The website was originally started as the point of contact for the Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archives in 2012.

GMB photoThe project is led by Georgina Brewis, Senior Lecturer at UCL Institute of Education. Georgina co-founded the Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archives in 2012 and has advised a number of voluntary organisations on archive issues, overseeing the deposit of the Volunteering England archive at LSE and the NCVYS archive at UCL. She is an expert in the history of voluntary action, youth and education and teaches courses on the history of charity, NGOs and youth movements across UCL.

The project is supported by Charlotte Clements who joined the UCL Institute of Education as the project’s DSC09517 (3)Research Assistant in January 2015. She recently completed her PhD on the history of youth clubs and youth voluntary associations in post-war Britain at the University of Kent. Charlotte has previously been publicity secretary for the Voluntary Action History Society.  Her research interests include youth, welfare, youth cultures and voluntarism.

The project advisory group includes: Print

Chair: Justin Davis Smith CBE, City University of London 


  • Perri 6, Professor in Public Management, Queen Mary University of Londondownload
  • Rob Baker, Information & Archives Officer, Blind Veterans UK
  • Virginia Berridge, Professor of History, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Sarah Evans, The British Library
  • Jurgen Grotz, Research Manager, NCVO
  • Irene Hardill, Professor of Social Policy, Northumbria University Image result for NCVO
  • Sarah Mills, Lecturer in Human Geography, Loughborough University
  • Jo Reilly, Head of Participation and Learning, Heritage Lottery Fund
  • Chris Taylor, Professor of Education Policy, Cardiff Universitynorthumbria-logo
  • Pat Thane FBA, Professor of Contemporary History, King’s College London


You can download a publicity postcard for the project here.