Welcome to the website of the British Academy Research Project (ARP) ‘Archiving the Mixed Economy of Welfare in Britain’. This is a collaborative, interdisciplinary project that promotes the preservation of voluntary sector archives, which are increasingly vulnerable in a period of austerity. We see the archives and records of voluntary organisations as strategic assets for governance, corporate identity, accountability and research. The project promotes awareness of such collections and supports good practice in archiving and records management within voluntary organisations.

The ARP is led by Dr Georgina Brewis at UCL with the support of Professor Irene Hardill (Northumbria University) and Dr Charlotte Clements (London Southbank University). This team is supported by a Stakeholder Advisory Group chaired by Dr Justin Davis Smith. We build partnerships between the voluntary sector, academics and archivists/information professionals; by creating bespoke guidance and events; and by advocating for archives across GB. We work closely with partners to facilitate good practice through research and knowledge exchange.  By preserving and making available such records we will facilitate research to shed new light on the development of social welfare services across GB (England, Wales and Scotland) in the current context of changing welfare provision.

The ARP was funded for an initial five years 2014-2019 and received additional funding for  second period 2019-2024.  In 2016/17 we received some 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.

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The project is led by Georgina Brewis, Associate Professor of History of Education 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 a memer of the Records at Risk steering group.  She is involved in a number of related research projects on the history of history of voluntary action, youth and education and teaches courses on the history of charity, NGOs and youth movements across UCL.

About the British Academy ARP programme

The Academy Research Project scheme offers the kitemarking of academic excellence to major infrastructural projects or research facilities, intended to produce fundamental works of scholarship, in most cases for the use of a variety of disciplines, rather than to produce interpretative works or monographs. The Academy grants the title of Academy Research Project to about 55 long-term enterprises, each organised and run by its own Project Committee.