Project updates

Report on the project’s work

In 2019 the Archiving the Mixed Economy of Welfare project was granted an additional five years support from the British Academy.

The project continues to build and strengthen the networks necessary to advocate for the archives and records of voluntary organisations in England and Wales. We sit on a number of advisory boards and work closely with the Sector Development Manager: Charities at The National Archives (TNA). We are represented on the Records at Risk Steering Group, which is ‘an independent advisory body for England and Wales in liaison with the other regions of the United Kingdom that will consider and co-create with The National Archives appropriate steps to better manage the risks and challenges faced by vulnerable archive collections’. In 2017 we were involved in the consultation process for the new strategic vision for the archives sector, Archives Unlocked.

A key success relates to work to ameliorate the difficulties of long-term preservation of so-called ‘grey literature’, including reports and papers produced by charities, often produced only in digital format. In 2019 we secured a new home for 225 documents produced by the Institute for Volunteering Research since the 1990s as part of the  British Library Social Welfare Portal.  The Social Welfare Portal provides a single point of access to our vast print and digital collections of research and information on policy development, implementation and evaluation. It is an invaluable resource for researchers, policymakers and policy liaison officers working in the civil society, and provides access to the most recent reports in a wide range of social welfare topics.

We have built on the successful launch of ‘Records Management in Charities: A Toolkit for Improvement’ in 2017 which was produced in collaboration with Charity Finance Group, with input from TNA, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Charity Archives and Records Managers Group (CHARM) and the Small Charities Coalition and others. The resource is now available as an online tool and we have commissioned a professional trainer, who works with the Small Charities Coalition, to create a set of training materials to accompany the toolkit.

We organise a range of event and workshops as well as present at academic conferences and seminars. We act as a point of information for a range of organisations seeking advice about archiving, records management and third-party deposit, including via our website contact form, phone conversations, emails and meetings.

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.

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