Impact, The Global Archive and Big Ideas

The summer has been busy for the research team as we are working on some large scale grant applications and awaiting news on projects currently under review. In the mean time, we are organising some fantastic events for the autumn.

The Enhancing Impact, Inspiring Excellence: Collaborative approaches between archives and universities conference is taking place on 4 September at the University of Birmingham. The event is hosted by the University of Birmingham and The National Archives, in association with Research Libraries UK. It is also generously supported by the Institute of Historical Research and Adlib Information Systems. Matt Greenhall, Engagement Manager for Archives Sector Development and Sue Worrall, Director of Special Collections at the University of Birmingham have worked hard to put together an extremely strong programme. The conference will showcase the varied work completed by the academic community when working with archives, while highlighting archivists’ unique skills and knowledge. The conference will clarify opportunities for collaborative working and establishing partnerships. The event is fully booked, but you can follow the sessions using the #EIIE2013 hash tag on Twitter.

Detail from Second World War poster - The British Commonwealth of Nations (catalogue ref: INF 13/213/2)

Detail from Second World War poster - The British Commonwealth of Nations (catalogue ref: INF 13/213/2)

The theme for the next annual Gerald Aylmer Seminar is ‘The Global Archive’ and it will take place on 28 February 2014. It’s a big topic, but we hope to look at how global stories and histories can be written using international and national archives, and also highlight the rich resources that local and regional archives have to offer. Last year’s event was a huge success and we had lots of lively conversations about material culture. The seminar will again be hosted by The Royal Historical Society, the Institute of Historical Research and The National Archives and will take place at Senate House. Registration information and the programme will be available soon.

‘Big Ideas’ is a new series of monthly briefings on big ideas coming out of The National Archives’ research programme. Covering themes of innovation, creativity and excellence each Big Idea will share with colleagues and professionals aspects of innovative research taking place at The National Archives and elsewhere which could apply to their own area of work. Each Big Idea will take place on the first Monday of the month from 13.00-14.00 and there will be opportunity for Q&A at the end of each briefing. The series is free to attend and open to the public but is aimed at colleagues from The National Archives and professionals from other research organisations. Light refreshments will be provided. The first Big Idea will take place on Monday 30 September. Presented by Professor Tim Hitchcock of the University of Hertfordshire, ‘Big data and dead criminals reflects on his work to make complex trial accounts fully searchable on The Old Bailey Online. To book a place, please email

The National Archives is a partner with Creative Works London, one of four Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The hub works to establish and fund strategic partnerships between creative businesses and cultural organisations, to strengthen and diversify their collaborative research activities. Creative Works brings together 38 London-based universities, colleges, museums, libraries and archives.

A Creative Works voucher scheme offers funding to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) who are interested in exploring areas such as entrepreneurial development, emerging markets, engaging new audiences and the development of digital resources. The next theme for competitive vouchers is ‘Archives’ and The National Archives will host a pre-event on 26 September for this next phase of funding vouchers. The day will feature presentations from Independent Research Organisations partnered with Creative Works, to showcase the potential of their archival collections. There will also be time for networking and the development of possible ideas to take forward for funding. Please email  to register or find out more.

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