For archives to thrive they need to grow. And that involves archive services taking in new records to add to their collections. These new records are known as ‘accessions’.
Each year, we collect information about accessions acquired in the last 12 months from over 250 UK and Ireland archive services as part of the Accessions to Repositories survey. This is a really exciting time for us, as we get to hear about brand new collections that are coming through the doors of archive services all across the country.
Behind the scenes in my team we are currently processing the information we receive from these services, updating existing or adding new information to our records in Discovery. It’s a really big task, but since January we’ve already added over 1,000 new collections and updated information for nearly the same number of existing records in Discovery.
Later in the year, we will be publishing highlights of these new collections on our Accessions web pages which can be navigated by subject theme, with everything from brewing, to LGBT history and the First World War.
New collections mean new opportunities for researchers in the future. It means we’re not just looking over the same material time and time again, there’s more evidence to examine to allow us to interpret and reflect on the past.
Accessioning is only the start of a collection’s life in an archive – it may have to repackaged, sorted and catalogued first before it can be made available for consultation, but these are vital steps in making sure that it’s accessible and searchable for researchers in the long term. Continue reading »