Resources for reopening Archives

The ‘Re-opening The National Archives’ webinar, which was streamed live last week, is now online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYcaUJL3gd4.

This webinar provides information for colleagues in the archive sector on The National Archives’ own approach to re-opening.

Each archive service needs to be guided by their own circumstances in relation to re-opening; in order to help with this, please do have a look at our webpages on ‘Making Plans for Re-opening’ for high level principles, information on re-opening in relation to being a place of deposit and/or an accredited archive service, and resources including a planning for re-opening checklist and risk management template.

Working from home

Recently on the Archives NRA jiscmail list the following list of online learning source and ideas for those working from home was shared. This might be of interest.

Free Courses:
•    Connecting to Collections Care  https://www.connectingtocollections.org/ has their webinars archived and available online – a lot of great information for a variety of institutions and collections, archives included. Free.

•    the Image Permanence Institute have some interesting archived webinars on photographic process identification, preservation and access etc that I’ve always fancied and never managed to make time for.
https://imagepermanenceinstitute.org/education/webinars.html

•    The National Archives run e-learning courses on fundraising for archives, including the following: Fundraising Strategy; Financial Planning; Case for Support; Building Networks and Supporters; Crowdfunding; Measuring Outcomes and Evaluation https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/fundraising-for-archives-e-learning-courses-tickets-31256513072

•    The National Archives Latin tutorial: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/latin/

•    The National Archives palaeography tutorial: https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/palaeography/

•    Future Learn have a wide range of free online courses: https://www.futurelearn.com/ Some more archive specific ones detailed below:

o    Cultural Heritage and the City, Discover how cities develop their own unique cultures and explore key concepts related to cultural heritage. https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/cultural-heritage-cities

o    Learning from the Past: A Guide for the Curious Researcher, Learn how to understand the past to explain the present, and get to know the amazing sources and resources of the British Library. https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/learning-from-the-past

o    The History of the Book in the Early Modern Period: 1450 to 1800, Explore the history of the book during the early modern period and learn how the invention of printing revolutionized our world. https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/history-of-the-book

o    Behind the Scenes at the 21st Century Museum: Get an introduction to museum studies with this free online course. Learn about the people and ideas that shape museums today https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/museum

o    Understanding Diversity and Inclusion: Develop your attitudes, skills and knowledge of cultural diversity so you’re able to create inclusive environments https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/diversity-inclusion-awareness

o    Antisemitism: From Its Origins to the Present – Join 50 leading scholars in exploring antisemitism, from its roots to its contemporary forms. https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/antisemitism

o    If you’ve never done any family history try – Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree: Develop an understanding of genealogy – how to research your family tree and share the results – with this free online course. https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/genealogy

o    For a different approach to palaeography – Early Modern Scottish Palaeography: Reading Scotland’s Records. Travel back in time through Scottish history by examining early modern Scottish handwriting. https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/ems-palaeography

•    The Open University also have a range of online courses: Open University online courses http://open.edu/openlearn . Some more archive specific ones:

o    What is heritage? This free course will introduce you to the concept of heritage and its critical study, exploring the role of heritage in both past and contemporary societies. https://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/history/what-heritage/content-section-0?active-tab=description-tab

o    This free course, looking at, describing and identifying objects, will enable you to practise and develop your skills of observation and description of objects. It will also enable you to interpret objects and work towards writing your own object life cycle. You will also work with, and understand artefact databases. https://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/looking-describing-and-identifying-objects/content-section-0?active-tab=description-tab

o    Besides being simple mementos, family photographs can offer insights into the past. This free course, Picturing the family, looks at some of the ways photographs can reveal, and sometimes conceal, important information about the past. It teaches the skills and provides some of the knowledge needed to interpret such pictorial sources. https://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/visual-art/picturing-the-family/content-section-0?active-tab=description-tab

•    EdX have a wide range of free online courses, with some great ones on history here: https://www.edx.org/course/subject/history Some specific ones people have mentioned listed below

o    From a digital preservation angle, there are free online edX courses on computer science and programming, such as https://www.edx.org/course/cs50s-introduction-to-computer-science 

o    Also with digital, edX are running a course on Creating a Digital Cultural Community https://www.edx.org/course/creating-a-digital-cultural-heritage-community

•    Coursera also have a wide range of free online courses: https://www.coursera.org/ – a couple mentioned by people listed below:

o    I found this a pretty good place to start for research data management: https://www.coursera.org/learn/data-management

o    Range of history ones here: https://www.coursera.org/search?query=history&

•    For those interested in learning about Google Analytics – beginners and advanced courses are available online for free through the Analytics Academy.

•    The Carpentries: free online curricula for research data (Data Carpentry), research computing (Software Carpentry), and data/software skills for library work (Library Carpentry)

•    Codecademy: learn to code for free

•    Connecting to Collections: free webinars on collections care

•    DHPSNY: free recorded webinars on collections care (geared towards NY State, but free to all)

•    Digital A11y: Digital Accessibility Courses Roundup: A list of digital accessibility courses, many of which are free

•    Digital Skills for the Workplace: 15 free courses to enhance your workplace skills

•    DiRT Directory (Digital Research Tools Directory): list of digital humanities tools organized by category. Very useful starting point!

•    Free Code Camp: learn to code for free

•    Khan Academy: learn to code (and many other things) for free

•    Map Warper: a georectifier for juxtaposing historic maps onto Google Earth, etc.

•    NEDCC – on-demand webinars on collections care topics, digital preservation, grants & fundraising (follow link and scroll down for the free ones)

•    The Programming Historian: “novice-friendly, peer-reviewed tutorials that help humanists learn a wide range of digital tools, techniques, and workflows to facilitate research and teaching” (+1 vote)

Paid Courses (or Subscription Required)

•    Museums Association Ethics course
Enrol in a free learning course on industry standard practice https://museumsassociation.learnhownow.com/courses/workingethically

•    Museums Association Collections course
Enrol in a free learning course on caring for and managing collections https://museumsassociation.learnhownow.com/courses/workingwithcollections

•    the Australian Society of Archivists has a range of online courses – https://www.archivists.org.au/learning-publications/online-courses. They are, of course, cheaper if you’re an ASA member, but anyone can do them, and hopefully some work places might support (e.g. fund) online PD during this unusual times.

Reading Resources

•    The National Archives has plenty of resources online relating to the Archive Sector: https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archives-sector

•    National Archives resources on Managing Your Collection https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archives-sector/advice-and-guidance/managing-your-collection/

•    National Archives resources on Fundraising for Archives: https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archives-sector/finding-funding/how-to-fundraise/

•    National Archives resources on Case Studies and Reports https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archives-sector/case-studies-and-research-reports/

•    Ashmolean Museum Case Studies and Project Videos https://ashmolean.org/case-studies-and-projects

•    University of Nottingham collections info (especially good for deeds):
https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/ManuscriptsandSpecialCollections/ResearchGuidance/Introduction.aspx

•    Archives Association of British Colombia, archivists’ toolkit: https://aabc.ca/resources/archivists-toolkit/

•    Archive Skills, “info bytes” (short summaries of archival topics): http://www.archive-skills.com/infobytes/

•    Digital Preservation Handbook: https://www.dpconline.org/handbook

•    Jisc guide to records management: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/records-management

Fun Stuff

•    Museum online virtual tours http://top10.com/virtual-museum-tours

•    https://ayearwithmycamera.com/blog/free-online-stuff-to-do-during-social-distancing

Tasks for Home Working

•    Clear up email inbox (sort/delete/reply to old emails)
•    Work on your PDR, review your goals/training needs
•    Familiarise yourself with other archives using their websites
•    Schedule a remote lunch or coffee talk with colleagues via phone or video to talk about things besides work
•    Webinars and other professional development
•    Write/edit presentations for future CPD talks
•    Think about the job you’d want X years from now. Schedule time each week to work towards that job
•    Identify areas for partnership working with other organisations
•    Update key documentation/policies etc

Cold storage scheme

The National Conservation Service and Restore Plc are pleased to announce that the long awaited cold storage scheme, located at the NCS collaborative storage service at Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, is now ready to take collections.
The cold store is intended for acetate plastic photographic sheets/strips (negatives and transparencies all formats including mounted slides), cine film and loose reel audio tape (not cassette tapes).  Storage will be at (minus) -20C and collections will be stored inside microclimate packages (ref BS4971:2017).  It can also take colour paper-based photographs and nitrate sheet film negs (not nitrate cine-film).
The storage is complemented by a packaging service and pre-conditioning at 35% RH.  The basic storage charge will be based on a standard crate size at £25 per crate per annum.  We estimate that a crate will take between c.2500 and c.10,000 photo images depending on format.  Arrangements can also be made for digitisation of material either before storage or when required subsequently.
If you are interested in joining the cold storage scheme and sending collections to Upper Heyford, please contact Lisa at lisa@ncs.org.uk  Information about the cold storage scheme will soon be available on the NCS website www.ncs.org.uk

TNA Collections Development

The National Archives has just published Collections Development: Frameworks and Guidance on its website.
This is a new modular guide which describes both the theory and practice of collections development:
*        the first section provides a theoretical framework for understanding why collections development is important with examples of different approaches and methodologies;
*        the second gives practical support for writing a Collections Development Policy and Plan – especially useful if you’re working towards Archive Service Accreditation;
*        and the third is a set of case studies from different types of archive service or collecting institution to demonstrate collections development in practice in different contexts.
Collections Development: Frameworks and Guidance is deliberately designed to encourage you to think about why and how we do what we do – to help inform and so improve our practice.  Each section can be read independently and each has a specific purpose.

Funding available from the CFHS to support research

The Catholic Family History Society is keen to support the research into Catholics within the United Kingdom. The Society has limited funds available and is desirous to assist those interested in undertaking such research which will be of benefit to Catholic family  historians. Small Research Awards will be made on an annual basis.

For more information visit their website, read their blog or find them on facebook