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 project builds partnerships between the voluntary sector, academics and archivists/information professionals; by creating bespoke guidance and events; and by advocating for archives at national level. 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 a second period 2019-2024.  In 2016/17 we received additional funding via a UCL Public Policy grant and in 2021 a funded PhD studentship under the AHRC’s Collaborative Doctoral Partnership scheme. This website was originally started as the point of contact for the Campaign for Voluntary Sector Archives in 2012.

About the British Academy ARP programme

The Academy Research Projects are intended to offer the kitemarking of academic excellence to major long term infrastructural projects or research facilities. The Academy grants the title of Academy Research Project to about 55 long-term enterprises, each organised and run by its own project committee. So long as the projects continue to work towards their agreed objectives and remain active and productive, the Academy expects to maintain long-term support. Current projects include some supported since the 1920s and 1930s.