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The National Archives announces Cold War season launching April 2019

Thu, 12/06/2018 - 09:00

The National Archives today announces its 2019 Cold War season, comprising a new exhibition ‘Protect and Survive: Britain’s Cold War Revealed’ and a season of events that will offer a fascinating insight into life in Britain during the turbulent Cold War era.

INF 13/293/10 Keep Our Secrets Secret, Somebody Isn’t Using His Intelligence, 1960s

Opening on 4 April 2019, exactly 70 years since NATO was formed, the programme will mark a series of Cold War milestones and will run until the end of November 2019, the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Mark Dunton, Contemporary Records Specialist at The National Archives and Curator of the exhibition, said: ‘People will have the opportunity to explore our Cold War documents and learn more about this period of secrets and paranoia. The pervasive threat of nuclear war impacted everyday life for millions of people and this thought-provoking exhibition will offer a unique look into political and ideological tensions between the East and West.’

An array of original documents will be on display, including political memos, spy confessions, civil defence posters and even a letter from Winston Churchill to the Queen. These documents will provide visitors with a rare glimpse into the complexities of government operations during this time of infiltration and betrayal.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a programme of high-profile events exploring the Cold War from a multitude of perspectives. Speakers will include Dame Stella Rimington, former Director General of MI5, who will discuss her extraordinary career in government and subsequent success as a writer.

To secure priority booking and be the first to obtain details of the Cold War season, sign up to The National Archives’ mailing list at nationalarchives.gov.uk/coldwar.

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Newly accredited archive services announced

Wed, 12/05/2018 - 04:33

The UK Archive Service Accreditation Partnership today announces that three archive services have been awarded accredited status at a recent Archive Service Accreditation Panel.

HSBC Archives, National Arts Education Archives and Oxford Brookes University Special Collections have achieved the UK national standard for archive services, demonstrating a commitment to management and resourcing, the care of unique collections and the service offer to their entire range of users. The three archive services are the first to achieve Archive Service Accreditation since the refresh of the standard and documentation in June 2018.

Archive Sector Accreditation is supported by a partnership of the Archives and Records Association (UK), Archives and Records Council Wales, National Records of Scotland, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, Scottish Council on Archives, The National Archives and the Welsh Government through its Museums, Archives and Libraries Wales division.

See the full list of accredited archive services.

Find out more about Archive Service Accreditation.

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A Year in Archives 2018 launched

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 10:45

Today, The National Archives launches A Year in Archives 2018.

The publication celebrates innovative and exciting work from across the archive sector and copies will be available at the Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities (DCDC) conference, currently taking place in Birmingham.

A Year in Archives explores how archive services have delivered on the themes of the strategic vision, Archives Unlocked. This vision aims to release the full potential of archives by embracing current challenges and opportunities such as openness, impact and digital development.

Dr Valerie Johnson, Director of Research and Collections at The National Archives said:

‘A Year in Archives demonstrates that the archives sector continues to work hard in demonstrating the importance of archives through innovative ways of collecting and making collections accessible, preserving our past for the future.’

This year, six case studies have been selected to feature in the publication, including Amnesty International’s agile response to changing digital technologies and increasing amounts of digital data. Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives has also been recognised for its Women’s Hall project, which explores lesser-known suffrage stories from East London.

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Major Ireland Symposium in March 2019

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 05:36

Today, we announce a major, international symposium ‘Dominus Hibernie / Rex Hiberniae: pre-modern Ireland, 1200-1801’ which will take place from 21-23 March 2019 here at The National Archives.

From the late-twelfth-century conquest to the union of the kingdoms, Ireland was a key constituent element of the dominions of the monarchs of England and Great Britain, their royal title and identity. Over six centuries institutions, policies and attitudes developed to enable the crown to tackle the challenges of governing Ireland and its inhabitants. The records which such processes generated contain rich, insights into the administration of pre-modern Ireland and all areas of its society. As the custodian of government records, The National Archives arguably holds the world’s most important collection of records on the history of pre-modern Ireland. In bringing together historians of medieval and early modern Ireland, this symposium will discuss continuity and change across six centuries of Irish history  and consider the archival context of the collection.

The symposium will be opened by Jeff James, CEO and Keeper of The National Archives and Adrian O’Neill, Ambassador of Ireland to the United Kingdom with keynote addresses given by three exceptional scholars of pre-modern Irish history:

  • Professor Robin Frame, Durham University
  • Professor Patricia Palmer, National University of Ireland, Maynooth
  • Professor David Hayton, Queen’s University Belfast.

For more information and to register please use this link

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Introduction of car parking charges

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 10:16

HLG 131/100 Queues at Oxford Circus underground station, 1960s

The National Archives will implement new charges in our visitor car park on 3 January 2019.

The new controlled car parking will be administered through an ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) system, with visitors paying before departure at a pay point located inside The National Archives building. Charges will apply to all visitor parking. ‘Blue Badge’ holders will continue to be able to park without charge, in designated parking bays. (The ‘Blue Badge’ scheme helps you park closer to your destination if you’re disabled: find out more.)

We have introduced new car park charges for two key reasons. Firstly, we want to ensure that the option to park on site continues to be available for as many of our visitors as possible. By introducing charges, we hope to be able to deter parking unconnected with our organisation so that we can accommodate more of our own visitors.  We have benchmarked our new car park charges with those of comparable heritage and cultural destinations in the local area.

Secondly, we find it difficult to justify offering a free car park in a location where parking is generally offered on a charged-for basis. We have maintained a free car park over many years and through this time, we have been one of few national, cultural organisations to offer this facility without charge. Unfortunately, this comes at a cost to us and we have now reached a point where we need to balance the needs of a minority of visitors who arrive by car against our need to invest in services for the majority who arrive by public transport or use our services online. We will review the impact of the new scheme during its initial period to ensure it meets its objectives and to assess the impact on visitors.

The new parking costs

Up to two hours £2.50 Up to four hours £4.50 Over four hours £7.00

Under this scheme, ‘Blue Badge’ holders will continue to be able to park without charge, in designated parking bays.

How to use our new parking system:

  • Enter the car park by approaching the barrier, which will open automatically. Make a note of your registration plate number before leaving your vehicle
  • After your visit to The National Archives, go to one of our two pay point machines (located in The National Archives’ foyer), and enter your vehicle registration
  • The pay machine will calculate your car parking charge based on registration recognition. Payments can be made by either cash or chip and pin/contactless payment (with a credit or debit card)
  • Return to your vehicle and leave the car park via the exit barrier within 20 minutes of payment

Visitors must pay for parking before leaving the premises and will not be able to exit the car park if they have not done so.

For more information, read our frequently asked questions.

If you have any further questions or feedback about the changes to visitor car parking, please get in touch.

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Maintenance work on Discovery, Monday 22 October 08:00-12:00

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 09:40

We will be carrying out essential maintenance work from 08:00 to 12:00 on Monday 22 August. We anticipate that access to our digitised and A2A records will be disrupted during this time.

We expect the work to be completed by 12:00, when all our records are scheduled to be available once more.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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Jeff James appointed International Forum President

Thu, 09/20/2018 - 11:26

Chief Executive and Keeper of The National Archives, Jeff James, has been appointed President of the Forum of National Archivists (FAN), the international forum for national archivists. Jeff will also join the International Council on Archives’ (ICA) Executive Board and its Programme Commission, where he will represent the views of national archivists.

The National Archives is a prestigious national institution with an international reputation for excellence. Jeff has overall responsibility for the future direction and current performance, and provides visible and inspirational strategic leadership to more than 500 staff. Jeff spent six years as Director of Operations of The National Archives, and successfully led the institution’s strategic development and operational delivery.

The National Archives leads the UK archive sector, and provides inspiration, advocacy and support for archive services in England. In March 2017, Jeff oversaw the development and co-creation of an ambitious vision and action plan for the sector Archives Unlocked.

The ICA is a neutral, non-governmental organisation, funded by 1,900 members from 199 countries and territories. Its aims include advocating for good archival management and the physical protection of recorded heritage, producing reputable standards and best practices, and encouraging dialogue, exchange, and transmission of this knowledge and expertise across national borders.

On hearing of his appointment, Jeff said: ‘I believe that this reflects the international reputation that UK archives have through their wealth of collections and soundness of practice. I will dedicate myself to driving forward FAN’s strategic programme of work, and in realising its wider potential, in greater collaboration with the ICA and key peers in other institutions across the globe.’

The post Jeff James appointed International Forum President appeared first on The National Archives.

Jeff James appointed International Forum President

Thu, 09/20/2018 - 11:26

Chief Executive and Keeper of The National Archives, Jeff James, has been appointed President of the Forum of National Archivists (FAN), the international forum for national archivists. Jeff will also join the International Council on Archives’ (ICA) Executive Board and its Programme Commission, where he will represent the views of national archivists.

The National Archives is a prestigious national institution with an international reputation for excellence. Jeff has overall responsibility for the future direction and current performance, and provides visible and inspirational strategic leadership to more than 500 staff. Jeff spent six years as Director of Operations of The National Archives, and successfully led the institution’s strategic development and operational delivery.

The National Archives leads the UK archive sector, and provides inspiration, advocacy and support for archive services in England. In March 2017, Jeff oversaw the development and co-creation of an ambitious vision and action plan for the sector Archives Unlocked.

The ICA is a neutral, non-governmental organisation, funded by 1,900 members from 199 countries and territories. Its aims include advocating for good archival management and the physical protection of recorded heritage, producing reputable standards and best practices, and encouraging dialogue, exchange, and transmission of this knowledge and expertise across national borders.

On hearing of his appointment, Jeff said: ‘I believe that this reflects the international reputation that UK archives have through their wealth of collections and soundness of practice. I will dedicate myself to driving forward FAN’s strategic programme of work, and in realising its wider potential, in greater collaboration with the ICA and key peers in other institutions across the globe.’

The post Jeff James appointed International Forum President appeared first on The National Archives.

Shakespeare documents recognised at UNESCO ceremony

Thu, 09/20/2018 - 05:38

A ceremony to celebrate the inclusion of 90 Shakespeare documents in UNESCO’s International Memory of the World register has been held in London.

PRO 30/25/205: Shakespeare portrait

Documents created during the lifetime of William Shakespeare and relating to the playwright’s life events, business dealings and legal actions now form part of the register of culturally and historically significant items, artefacts and buildings from across the world, which includes the Egyptian pyramids, the Gutenberg Bible, and the Bayeux Tapestry.

The Shakespeare documents held by The National Archives form the largest collection of its kind and feature nearly half of all known contemporary references to his life – including four of his six known signatures.

Dr Katy Mair, Head of Early Modern Records at The National Archives, said: ‘We are delighted that The National Archives’ documents have been included in the UNESCO International Memory of the World register. Our collection provides a priceless perspective on Shakespeare’s life in London.

‘By inscribing our documents along with those held by institutions both in the UK and abroad we can see the global reach that Shakespeare and his works still has today.’

PROB 1/4: Will of William Shakespeare, 25 March 1616

The successful nomination was led by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in partnership with The National Archives, Worcestershire Archives and Archaeology Service, the College of Arms, the British Library and London Metropolitan Archives in the UK, and the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC, USA.

The post Shakespeare documents recognised at UNESCO ceremony appeared first on The National Archives.

Shakespeare documents recognised at UNESCO ceremony

Thu, 09/20/2018 - 05:38

A ceremony to celebrate the inclusion of 90 Shakespeare documents in UNESCO’s International Memory of the World register has been held in London.

PRO 30/25/205: Shakespeare portrait

Documents created during the lifetime of William Shakespeare and relating to the playwright’s life events, business dealings and legal actions now form part of the register of culturally and historically significant items, artefacts and buildings from across the world, which includes the Egyptian pyramids, the Gutenberg Bible, and the Bayeux Tapestry.

The Shakespeare documents held by The National Archives form the largest collection of its kind and feature nearly half of all known contemporary references to his life – including four of his six known signatures.

Dr Katy Mair, Head of Early Modern Records at The National Archives, said: ‘We are delighted that The National Archives’ documents have been included in the UNESCO International Memory of the World register. Our collection provides a priceless perspective on Shakespeare’s life in London.

‘By inscribing our documents along with those held by institutions both in the UK and abroad we can see the global reach that Shakespeare and his works still has today.’

PROB 1/4: Will of William Shakespeare, 25 March 1616

The successful nomination was led by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in partnership with The National Archives, Worcestershire Archives and Archaeology Service, the College of Arms, the British Library and London Metropolitan Archives in the UK, and the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC, USA.

The post Shakespeare documents recognised at UNESCO ceremony appeared first on The National Archives.

Headline sponsors of DCDC18 announced

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 07:05

We are delighted to announce that Wellcome Collection will be the headline sponsor for DCDC18: Memory and Transformation.

Delivered jointly by The National Archives and Research Libraries UK, the Discovering Collections Discovering Communities (DCDC) conference brings together speakers from across the heritage, cultural, and academic sectors to share their experiences and thoughts on topics ranging from commemoration, digital transformation and how we can all engage with new and diverse audiences.

Simon Chaplin, Director of Culture and Society at Wellcome Trust, and Director of Wellcome Collection said: ‘As a museum and library that aims to challenge how we all think and feel about health Wellcome Collection is pleased to be able to support DCDC18. Breaking down boundaries and bringing new voices to shape our approach are things we care about deeply and DCDC will be a fantastic opportunity to share with and learn from others.’

This year, DCDC will be held at the Birmingham Conference and Events Centre from 19-21 November. There will be a Wellcome Collection session on the afternoon of Tuesday 20 November where artist, activist, academic and Wellcome Engagement Fellow, Lois Weaver, will host a long table discussion on the topic ‘Whose Memories?’ The session will explore questions of absence and exclusion in memory institutions.

For the full conference programme and how to register for your place at the conference, please see the DCDC website.  

Join the conversation on #DCDC18

The post Headline sponsors of DCDC18 announced appeared first on The National Archives.

Headline sponsors of DCDC18 announced

Fri, 08/31/2018 - 07:05

We are delighted to announce that Wellcome Collection will be the headline sponsor for DCDC18: Memory and Transformation.

Delivered jointly by The National Archives and Research Libraries UK, the Discovering Collections Discovering Communities (DCDC) conference brings together speakers from across the heritage, cultural, and academic sectors to share their experiences and thoughts on topics ranging from commemoration, digital transformation and how we can all engage with new and diverse audiences.

Simon Chaplin, Director of Culture and Society at Wellcome Trust, and Director of Wellcome Collection said: ‘As a museum and library that aims to challenge how we all think and feel about health Wellcome Collection is pleased to be able to support DCDC18. Breaking down boundaries and bringing new voices to shape our approach are things we care about deeply and DCDC will be a fantastic opportunity to share with and learn from others.’

This year, DCDC will be held at the Birmingham Conference and Events Centre from 19-21 November. There will be a Wellcome Collection session on the afternoon of Tuesday 20 November where artist, activist, academic and Wellcome Engagement Fellow, Lois Weaver, will host a long table discussion on the topic ‘Whose Memories?’ The session will explore questions of absence and exclusion in memory institutions.

For the full conference programme and how to register for your place at the conference, please see the DCDC website.

Join the conversation on #DCDC18

The post Headline sponsors of DCDC18 announced appeared first on The National Archives.

Workforce development for the archive sector

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 10:50

A team of workers pulls together (catalogue reference: INF 3/125b)

The National Archives has today launched a workforce development strategy for the archive sector. Independent research consultancy Pye Tait was commissioned to create the strategy, which was further developed with the support of Archives Unlocked.

The strategy draws upon extensive dialogue with people from across the archive sector, as well as with a range of funders and partners from the wider culture, heritage and information worlds.

Five strategic objectives to foster a skilled and flexible workforce emerged as a result of roundtable discussions, in-depth interviews and a national workforce survey. The strategy highlights in particular the importance of the archive workforce embracing new digital skills, developing new leaders from within the sector and also tackling the challenging lack of diversity within archives.

Dr Valerie Johnson, Director of Research and Collections at The National Archives, said: “This strategy clearly shows the drive of the sector to embrace change and develop new skills for the challenges of today. We look forward to working with our partners and the Archives Unlocked Board to implement the initiatives highlighted in this strategy and welcome comment and participation from the sector to take forward the strategy together.”

Geoff Pick, former chair of the Archives and Records Association, Director of London Metropolitan Archives and part of the Archives Unlocked board, said: “This strategy is built on the views of the whole sector and I am pleased to see that it addresses the critical issues that all archives are facing, such as diversity and social mobility. The collaborative work in this document opens up new creative pathways for the sector to both recruit new talent and support the professional development of its current workforce.”

Read the Workforce Development Strategy (PDF, 1.3MB)

The post Workforce development for the archive sector appeared first on The National Archives.

Workforce development for the archive sector

Wed, 08/29/2018 - 10:50

A team of workers pulls together (catalogue reference: INF 3/125b)

The National Archives has today launched a workforce development strategy for the archive sector. Independent research consultancy Pye Tait was commissioned to create the strategy, which was further developed with the support of Archives Unlocked.

The strategy draws upon extensive dialogue with people from across the archive sector, as well as with a range of funders and partners from the wider culture, heritage and information worlds.

Five strategic objectives to foster a skilled and flexible workforce emerged as a result of roundtable discussions, in-depth interviews and a national workforce survey. The strategy highlights in particular the importance of the archive workforce embracing new digital skills, developing new leaders from within the sector and also tackling the challenging lack of diversity within archives.

Dr Valerie Johnson, Director of Research and Collections at The National Archives, said: “This strategy clearly shows the drive of the sector to embrace change and develop new skills for the challenges of today. We look forward to working with our partners and the Archives Unlocked Board to implement the initiatives highlighted in this strategy and welcome comment and participation from the sector to take forward the strategy together.”

Geoff Pick, former chair of the Archives and Records Association, Director of London Metropolitan Archives and part of the Archives Unlocked board, said: “This strategy is built on the views of the whole sector and I am pleased to see that it addresses the critical issues that all archives are facing, such as diversity and social mobility. The collaborative work in this document opens up new creative pathways for the sector to both recruit new talent and support the professional development of its current workforce.”

Read the Workforce Development Strategy (PDF, 1.3MB)

The post Workforce development for the archive sector appeared first on The National Archives.