Friday, 15 May 2009

Archives for the 21st century

A new policy, archives for the 21st century, has been published by the TNA (in partnership with others) and is now available for consultation. The consultation exercise will run until 12 August 2009 and is available here.

The document states that it is "a call to action" and a response to the new information world that we find ourselves in. I thought is was interesting that the document says that the "leap into the future presents a major challenge for all archive services." I think opportunity would've been a better word here but hey-ho the document overall is very postive about online access to archives and demonstrating value to users.

There are some good examples of what other organisations have achieved and five key recommendations:
  • Fewer, bigger, better – working towards increased sustainability within the sector;
  • Strengthened leadership and a responsive, skilled workforce;
  • Co-ordinated response to the growing challenge of managing digital information so that it is accessible now and remains discoverable in the future;
  • Comprehensive online access for archive discovery through catalogues and to digitised archive content by citizens at a time and place that suits them;
  • Active participation in cultural and learning partnerships promoting a sense of identity and place within the community.
If you want to respond a questionnaire is available here. I think we can all agree that whatever the 21st century archive looks like, hopefully it won't involve helmut lamps:

(Image from life magazine via google)


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