Students studying quietly in the Old Library at LSE: this isn't the only way of working with Higher Education! (Via flickrcommons: LSE IMAGELIBRARY/706)
We talk a lot about partnership these days, in the archives sector. It’s more than a buzzword: partnership building is seen as absolutely critical to how archive services (which are usually quite small) are able to develop audiences, broaden funding, achieve visibility, sustainability… a lot, in fact. But it’s not always easy to find good examples of partnership, or examples that apply widely. We also know that partnership takes work and resource if it is going to be effective, be something more than a brief one-off collaboration.
So it was a huge pleasure that when we issued a call for papers on collaboration between universities and archives, we received almost 40 proposals. Evidently, there’s a lot of work going on, across a whole range of types of work. The resulting conference – ‘Enhancing Impact, Inspiring Excellence’ – is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham and The National Archives, in association with Research Libraries UK. It is now open for booking.
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Research at The National Archives is going from strength to strength! We have more good news to report as The Thames Consortium, comprised of The National Maritime Museum, The National Portrait Gallery and The National Archives has been awarded six Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships (CDPs) per year for the next three years to support doctoral students.
Page of the order book of the Sequestration Committee includes an entry relating to the case of Lady Mary Bankes, who was attempting to secure the return of family estates on behalf of her children while at the same time attempting to defend Corfe Castle from falling into the hands of Parliament (SP 20/1, vol 3, 22 September 1645)
The CDP studentships are distributed by the Arts and Humanities Research Council to sustain and promote high-quality research and skills in the sector. Maintaining the skills base in the arts and humanities is vital, and The National Archives will now be able to extend more opportunities for interdisciplinary research, knowledge exchange and training. We are really pleased to be involved and are thrilled that students will have access to a museum, an art gallery and an archive through which to explore their themes.
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As you’ve probably picked up from the themes of the blogs over the last few weeks, the work of The National Archives is extremely varied. In the Research Team we are keen to support new thinking across a range of topics from history and conservation to new technologies and digital preservation.
The Research Team consists of two people – myself and the Head of Research, Dr Valerie Johnson. In autumn last year Valerie and I started thinking about the organisation’s research strategy for 2012/13. We decided to ask the Executive Team’s help in shaping some strategic research priorities to feed into our new strategy. With no constraints or instructions from the Research Team, the Directors were asked to simply come up with the four key questions that they wanted answered within the year. The kind of questions that were keeping them awake at night. They came up with the following:
- What is the nature of the digital archival record?
- How has digital changed the needs, expectations and nature of research and user behaviour?
- How can we develop and exploit digital information extraction tools to help support digital selection and digital sensitivity review?
- Can we develop Open Data models to provide better-quality, authentic and trusted data for use and re-use?