Five more years of work on charity archives

We are delighted to announce that the ARP has received another five years’ worth of funding from the British Academy. While the pandemic disrupted planned events, over the past few years the project has continued to build and strengthen the networks necessary to advocate for the archives and records of voluntary organisations in England and Wales. One very important aspect has been our collaboration with The National Archives Sector Development Team on the Charity Archives Development Plan. One indicator of success listed in the Charity Archives Development Plan is the successful completion of a PhD into ‘Charity archives at risk: Conceptualising and contextualising a neglected archives sector’.

We have also worked with partners to secure long-term sustainable homes for several vulnerable collections including the Age UK archive, the Children England archive (now at UCL) and the National Association of Boys’ Clubs which joins the rest of the UK Youth archive at the Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham. We have also published two academic papers connected to the project, including a textbook chapter and a co-authored paper on ‘co-curation’ published in Area.

Front cover of the National Association of Boys Clubs annual report 1944-5
Front cover of the National Association of Boys’ Clubs annual report 1944-5

Over the next five years the ARP will continue to build on important progress made in the field of
voluntary sector archives. Angela Ellis Paine joins Georgina Brewis as Co-Investigator, bringing a wealth of experience of research with the UK voluntary sector. We will continue to act as a source of information, advice and signposting to voluntary organisations and individuals who own records. We will lead the implementation of the Charity Archives Development Plan by contributing best practice case studies and guidance around archives and records management issues. We will ensure that the findings of the collaborative PhD are shared widely through practical outputs.

In 2024 we have plans for a Charity Archives Study Day at Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham, a study visit to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington D.C. and a summer school for PhD and ECR researchers on using archival and documentary sources in research, in collaboration with learned societies. In 2025 we will hold a workshop with the Union of International Associations in Brussels called ‘Preserving and Using the Documentary Heritage of International Associations and Charities’. Co-organised by Daniel Laqua at Northumbria University, the event will mark the 75th anniversary of the UN definition for international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) and will bring together historians, archivists and IGNO staff to consider the preservation of INGO archives.

As ever, we welcome ideas and suggestions for collaboration. Please join our mailing list or get in touch with Project Director Georgina Brewis via

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About Georgina Brewis

Professor of Social History at UCL
View all posts by Georgina Brewis →

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