Upcoming training day in October

Catholic Archives Society Training

Herefordshire Archives and Record Centre

Monday 30 October 2017

1pm – 5pm

March’s successful training afternoon is being repeated in October.  As before, Richard Wade, HARC archivist, will speak about how to approach sorting, cataloguing and conservation.  He will cover preliminary sorting and listing, preparing a more detailed catalogue and basic preservation and conservation.

Richard will spend half the session looking at definitions, general principles, why archives are important and what to do when faced with an archive and half the session looking at practical matters such as what to keep and how to catalogue.

Part of the afternoon will be hands on and participants are welcome to bring some of their own material with them.

The cost is £26 to CAS members, £27 to non-members.  Please send a cheque payable to the Catholic Archives Society to the treasurer, Sr Benignus O’Brien, Langdale House, 42 Petitor Road, Torquay TQ1 4QF and/or contact mm@harcourtwilliams.me.uk for more information and if there is anything particular you would like covered.

Some comments from March delegates:

I think your speaker must be a born teacher/lecturer! He was excellent. And I don’t know how he managed such a marathon. He seemed to touch on everything in such an easy manner.

The speaker answered my questions fully.  I am now much clearer about what I should take into the archives

My volunteers feels he got a lot out of it and that it was very successful.

HARC is just outside Hereford at Rotherwas, HR2 6LA.  There is plenty of parking outside the building and two cafés nearby.

There are trains to Hereford from London via Reading and Oxford and from Birmingham, Cardiff and Manchester and taxis outside the station.

Catholic History Day, Bar Convent, York

Catholic Record Society/Postgate Society/English Catholic History Association


The Bar Convent, York

Saturday 3 June 2017


10.00  Arrivals and coffee

10.30  Welcome and introduction to the day

10.35  Dr. James Kelly: Rendering unto Caesar? The secular, the sacred and the formation of an English Catholic identity c.1558 – 1829

11.40  Break

11.50  Dr. Cormac Begadon:  Exile and Mission: the English Catholic Clergy 1568-1793

1.00  Lunch

2.30  Dr. Hannah Thomas From Exile to Integration: English Convents across the Channel c.1597 1794

3.30  Tea

3.45  Dr. Caroline Bowden “We must have a school for our daughters” –  what were the choices?

 5.00  Vigil Mass of Sunday in the Convent Chapel

COST: £15.00 (Students £7.50) includes tea and coffee but not lunch. Light lunches available in the restaurant, bookable on the day. Telephone 01904 464 910 to reserve a table.

For more information and to reserve a place please contact Judith Smeaton on 01904 704 525 or at judith.smeaton@btinternet.com.

Report of an archives training event at Hereford Archives and Record Centre (HARC), 13th March 2017

Richard Wade is one of the four archivists at HARC who has worked with many different types of archives. He gave a very useful general introduction on archives in an afternoon session organised by the Catholic Archives Society at HARC.

We had submitted questions in advance which he used to plan the talk. He covered general archive management and more specifically how to deal with archives as well as giving lots of practical tips and making everyone think about their own archives.

Although based on his own experience in Hereford, Richard stressed throughout how important it was for policies and procedures to be relevant to our own institutions. He also assured us that all collections had backlogs – we were not alone!  Even small tasks could take all day if extra research was needed.

He covered the definition of archives, the value of archives, policies and procedures, accessioning archives, the arrangement and description of archives and even the packaging requirements.

Some complex issues such as data protection would need a separate session, but he gave a few useful pointers about personal information and ways of handling such enquiries. He advised making sure that current material is not put in archive collections as it could create too many issues including legal problems.  He explained about the value of a consistent retention schedule: if you agree to keep items for a fixed period you must ensure they are not kept after that period (this may be a requirement of Data Protection regulations).

He suggested that with electronic and some financial records it would be sensible to get into discussions at an early stage of the record cycle; the best way of keeping electronic records for the future is still work in progress.

The importance of consistency in arrangements, cataloguing and descriptions were some of the key points, as was keeping collections together; the provenance and original order can be valuable in making the most of the item, whilst catalogues and indexes can link related items in different collections.

Richard gave us some exercises on how to sort different archives; these gave him the chance to highlight some of the potential pitfalls.  He encouraged all to avoid using the term “miscellaneous”!

It was an extremely interesting and useful afternoon, giving all the participants plenty to consider when they start on their own archive collection work.

The event will be repeated on Monday 30th October. Please contact the Catholic Archives Society for more details.

Una Morgan
Ledbury  Parish Secretary

Religious Archives Group, Conference 2017

A reminder that there are still places for this year’s Religious Archives Group Conference, 2017. The conference will be held at Our Lady of Mercy in Bermondsey, London on Friday May 5th, 2017 and this year’s theme is Women in Religious Archives. Further details and the booking form can be found here:


If you would like to attend, please return your form as soon as possible. The deadline for bookings is Friday 26 April 2017 and please note that your booking is not confirmed until you receive an acknowledgement from us.

Best wishes
Jeff Gerhardt
RAG Chair