"An archive without a catalogue is like a room without a door": inaccessible, unusable, and the cause of much frustration. Still we and our users struggle with uncatalogued archives, our hidden collections. Why don't archive services catalogue these collections? Cataloguing archives takes time, expertise, and space. The scale of hidden collections in the UK is … Continue reading Revealed! How to catalogue your hidden archives
This year I am embarking on a journey towards Higher Education Academy Fellowship. This award is given to academics and other higher education workers who can demonstrate professional commitment to learning and teaching. Why should librarians apply for HEA fellowship? To become better teachers (and learners)! It's so easy, given the constraints of time-slots and … Continue reading Why I’m applying for HEA Fellowship
In today’s uncertain political and economic climate the ability to demonstrate why heritage and culture matter – and to whom – has never been more important or relevant. I'd agree with that! These words are from the website of Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities, a conference which will help us to tackle this challenge. Taking place … Continue reading Need help with demonstrating impact of collections? Discover DCDC …
Delighted to share news of a report which should help anyone trying to make the case for investment in special collections. Or indeed considering whether they should invest in them ... Unique and distinctive collections: opportunities for research libraries is freely available online from the Research Libraries UK website. It's based on fieldwork I carried … Continue reading How can unique and distinctive collections support University mission?
Thrilled to announce that Special Collections at the University of Bradford has achieved Archive Accreditation! We are the first English university to reach this new standard. I'll blog about the experience for professional colleagues soon: why we applied, what we made of the process, and how we think it will help improve our service. And … Continue reading Accredited!
Back in September (20th to be exact) I went along to a workshop on archives accreditation. Though I've been following the growth of the new standard pretty closely, I still found the event really helpful. If you're thinking of applying, do try to get to one of these sessions! What did I like about this … Continue reading Bingo for Buttons: the archive accreditation workshop
Exciting news for archives managers! A new standard can help you improve your services and highlight your excellence. Find out more on the Archive Service Accreditation webpage and in this blog post by Melinda Haunton. Three things I like about the scheme: One size doesn't fit all. The scheme accommodates archives services of all shapes … Continue reading Going for Gold: archive accreditation is here
This post from the Special Collections librarian at the Jerwood Library, Trinity Laban, is inspiring. It tells a story of hidden, neglected special collections which were a burden and a concern for library staff. The writer shows how making the collections visible and making the case for their support changed everything. It's particularly interesting that … Continue reading Making the Case is Key for Music
How do we find out what users (and non-users) think of our services? We need to know this in order to ensure our services meet their needs and to argue our case for resources to improve them. Pretty obvious stuff, but it can be hard to get that feedback, to manage it, and to make … Continue reading Dear Special Collections, your service is …
Are you struggling with increasing numbers of users, demand for digital, crumbling collections, unsuitable storage space, intellectual property conundrums, born-digital collections, lack of skills, pressure of public sector cuts and recession ...? You are not alone! Two essential new reports reveal the challenges faced by UK special collections and archives and give us the evidence … Continue reading Too Many Collections, So Little Time?