Beware of the Swans, or, Collecting in Tough Times

Let me take you back to a baking hot day earlier this year - yes, we had a summer and it was on June 8th.  I made the epic trip down to Kew for Collecting in Tough Times, a National Archives event which aimed "to explore how archive services can address the challenges of collecting … Continue reading Beware of the Swans, or, Collecting in Tough Times


Beep! Beep! Why barcode your archive?

Librarians have known for years that giving items individual unique identifiers makes it much easier to manage them.  Accessions stamps have been used for centuries, automatically rolling on to give each item a number of its very own.   Making those identifiers machine-readable took things to a new level. We're talking barcodes!  Barcodes allowed libraries to … Continue reading Beep! Beep! Why barcode your archive?

The Pukka Pad and the Big Cake: #DCDC14 Conference Part 1

Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities, a joint effort by RLUK and The National Archives, is fast becoming a must-attend conference for archives and special collections folk.  The idea?  We face tough times and huge challenges: let's collaborate and find new ways to survive and thrive.  The second in the series was held last week in the … Continue reading The Pukka Pad and the Big Cake: #DCDC14 Conference Part 1


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!

BLPAC to close

Bad news: the British Library's Preservation Advisory Centre is to close at the end of March.  See the statement on their website. If you've read the Handbook, you'll know how much I value BLPAC's work, especially the really useful free booklets and training courses.  They've also been an important cross-sector advocate for thinking strategically about … Continue reading BLPAC to close