For charities

Information for owners of voluntary sector archives or records

The Digitising the Mixed Economy of Welfare in Britain project is preparing bespoke guidance documents and case studies to help staff, trustees and volunteers of voluntary organisations manage their archives and records and/or make informed decisions about depositing records in an appropriate respository, such as a local record office or specialist collection.

To date, the project has produced two pieces of guidance:

Records Management in Charities: A Toolkit for Improvement (June 2017). In June 2017 we published a new toolkit produced in partnership with Charity Finance Group and funded by a UCL Public Policy Grant. This is currently available as a pdf document to download but will be available as interactive webpages later this summer

Archiving for Voluntary Organisations – Draft Guidance (March 2017). We have made available this draft guidance for comments and suggestions.

In addition, the following sources of information may prove useful.

The Charity Archives and Records Management Group (CHARM) is made up of people responsible for or involved with the management and care of the records and archives of charities and voluntary organisations. CHARM membership is open to anyone interested in charity records and the group meets quarterly. The website is currently not active.

The Community Archives and Heritage Group (CAHG) is a national group which aims to support and promote community archives in the UK and Ireland. Their website includes some very useful resources including cataloguing guidelines and advice on funding.

The British Records Association (BRA) aims to encourage and assist with the preservation, care, use and publication of historical records. The BRA’s main function is to rescue documents in danger of loss or destruction.

The National Archives (TNA) has produced an introductory guide to archives for non-archivists and provides information, guidance and standards for operating an archive here.

The Archives and Records Association (ARA) have produced a useful report on Volunteering in Archives (2014). This might be useful for organisation that intend to use volunteers in their archive projects.

The Collections Trust works principally with museum collections. However they have a range of resources and standards which charities, including those with objects in their possession, might find useful. In particular SPECTRUM 4.0 contains information on 21 collections management standards, all with accompanying guidance.