The future for archives on a global scale

I am very excited to announce the arrival of ‘Archives Inspire the world‘, The National Archives’ invitation to collaborators from across the globe.

We have a long and proud history of working with other international archives, bodies and institutions – together, we support and raise awareness of archives of all kinds, and broaden the reach and impact of our diverse archival collections. I want us all to come together to find new and exciting ways to preserve and provide access to our worldwide documentary heritage, both physical and digital, for the present, and for future generations.

Why work together?

As you’ll see from some of our collaborative highlights, working together brings a variety of benefits for archives and their collections, including:

  • raising greater awareness and promoting the value and sustainability of archives
  • creating new ways to share knowledge and expertise
  • opening up further access to our collective physical and digital archival treasures
  • realising more innovative solutions for digital preservation.

Do visit ‘Archives Inspire the world‘ to find out more.

What is Archives Inspire?

Archives Inspire is our ambitious strategy which sets out how we will meet the needs of each of our major audiences, while tackling our single biggest challenge – digital.

Archives Inspire underlines our international relationships. The challenges we face are not unique – they are shared by a variety of archives, government bodies, cultural and heritage organisations, academic institutions, and businesses worldwide. Through ‘Archives Inspire the world’, we want to engage in new conversations and opportunities that will see us shape the future for all of our archives on a global scale, for the better.

Collaborative highlights

Here at The National Archives in Kew, I am honoured that we get to be involved in a host of exciting international activities. We work with a range of partners worldwide to highlight major commemorations, such as the First World War centenary, and this year Shakespeare 400. We also get to form part of global conversations about archives as members of bodies who are committed to establishing world-class archival management practice: for example, the European Archivists Group, the European Board of National Archivists and the International Council on Archives.

We have started to enable greater connections to records held throughout the world. Our online catalogue Discovery holds more than 34 million descriptions of records held by us, other archives across the country, and records about British history in over 3,000 archives around the world. We help shape agreed standards for digital data and archive management, and we are helping to develop the pan-European equivalent of Discovery – the Archives Portal Europe Foundation, which covers 6,000 institutions in over 30 countries. PRONOM, our online file format registry, and DROID, the identification tool for varying file formats, have become a resource that is used and improved by archives, and other memory and learning institutions, across the world.

We are always working closely with other leading national archives to share insights and learning. For example, our close working relationship with the Library and Archives of Canada has just seen us agree to find more innovative ways to make our collections more accessible by exploring a range of projects and activities, underlined by our Memorandum of Understanding. Most recently, we have started to work with the National Archives of the UAE. Together, we are shaping a joint strategic vision for a pending collaborative project which will digitise and make available the records we hold relating to the UAE and other nations of the Arabian Gulf.

Get in touch

Archives Inspire the world’ aims to create more of these collaborations, and to make our shared ambitions a reality. It is important that we come together like never before. Together, we can give archives a stronger voice and identity, and succeed in achieving our aspirations.

Do visit the web pages to find out more about how we can change the way people think about archives, on a global scale.


  1. […] techadmin on October 28, 2016 The future for archives on a global scale2016-10-28T09:00:02+00:00 – Journals & Publications – No […]

Leave a comment

Visit this page for family history and other research enquiries. Please do not post personal information. All comments are pre-moderated. See our moderation policy for more details.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *