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DCDC17 panel sessions

P1. Measuring the cultural value of collections and partnerships

This panel will address how the use of data and evaluation frameworks can be utilised to measure and visualise the cultural value of physical and digital collections, and their use in informing future collaborations across the academic and heritage sectors.

Chaired by Mike Anson, Archive Manager, Bank of England Archive


Mapping Museum Social ‘Ecosystems’

Natalia Grincheva, Research Fellow, Transformative Technologies Research Unit, The University of Melbourne

This presentation will introduce a new dynamic web application that can map and visualise museum “soft power,” understood as a symbolic power to attract tourists, investments, and international opportunities for institutional growth and community development. Designed in cooperation with leading museums in Melbourne, including the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Melbourne Museum, and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), the project brings together academic expertise, museum professionals, and policy makers to explore how museums can drive local tourism, contribute to urban development, and serve as important actors in developing international relations.

Wikimedia, Collections and Communities: Engaging with new audiences through open knowledge

Lucy Crompton-Reid, Chief Executive, Wikimedia UK

Wikimedia UK is the national charity for the global Wikimedia movement, and our vision is of a more tolerant, informed and democratic society through open knowledge. This presentation will respond to the theme of Heritage and the human experience, drawing on the charity’s partnerships with the cultural heritage sector to diversify content and contributors on open knowledge projects such as Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata. The case studies shared will highlight the ways in which working with Wikimedia UK can increase public engagement with cultural heritage collections and realise academic impact by extending the reach of heritage research to a broader audience.


Collections as tools for collaboration between librarians and digital humanities scholars

Christina Kamposiori, Programme Officer, RLUK

This paper is based on the outcome of the RLUK project ‘Research Libraries and Digital Humanities Tools’ and its goal is to highlight the role of collections as valuable tools for collaboration between librarians and researchers in the field of digital humanities.

Our survey and case study results revealed that research library professionals often engage in collaborative digital humanities activities which have institutional collections at their heart. Examining the conditions of these collaborations will help us demonstrate the importance of collections and discuss opportunities to further the offerings of research libraries which will increase the effect of collections on scholarship.

P2. Impact of the archive, library and museum sector on communities of academic practice

Kate Dunton, Research & Education Manger, King’s College London
Kirstie Hewlett, Researcher, Cultural & Policy Institutes, King’s College London
Anwar Tlili, Senior Lecturer & Programme Director, MA Education in Arts & Cultural Settings, School of Education, Communication & Society, King’s College London
Sandra Jacobs, Network Facilitator and Researcher, Theology and Religious Studies, King’s College London
James R. Ryan,Head of Postgraduate Programmes, Research Department, V&A Museum & Associate Professor of Historical and Cultural Geography, University of Exeter

Since the introduction of ‘impact’ to the Research Excellence Framework, universities have begun gathering data to measure the value of research beyond academia. But the reciprocal impact that the enabling partnerships have had on furthering research are rarely captured. This panel explores the role that the archive, library and museum sector plays in communities of academic practice. After surveying how impact within the sector was reported in REF 2014, we will present a case study of a major collaborative innovation project at King’s, ‘My Primary School is at the Museum’, followed by a closing reflective dialogue through a ‘flipped Q&A’.

The Representation of Archives, Libraries and Museums in REF 2014

‘Historical archives’ and ‘museums and exhibitions’ were among sixty recurring themes described in REF 2014. This paper considers how impact in these two areas was reported, and raises some inherent limitations of the exercise in capturing cross-sector collaboration.

Revisiting Higher Education through Museum Work

This case study will look specifically at the research undertaken at King’s into museum education and the importance of the relationship with museums in advancing this area of knowledge.

Flipped Q&A: Should researchers do more to capture and report the value of the sector?

Flipping the usual format of the audience asking the panel questions, we will start by asking the audience how well their sector currently articulates the vital role it plays in supporting cutting-edge British research in ways that go beyond providing access to archives and collections, and what this might mean in terms of presenting their own ‘value’ to the economy and society.

P3. Evidencing value, impacts and benefits of archive and library services

Chaired by Michael Moss, Northumbria University

Demonstrating the value, impacts and benefits of archive and library services demands reliable evidence that makes a compelling case to funders, to policy makers and the public.  While significant studies exist that demonstrate the value of culture and cultural heritage, few studies examine the value of documentary heritage socially or economically.

The panel will explore how qualitative and quantitative methods can be deployed to explore value, impacts and benefits of archive and library services.  Three studies will:

  • explore the ‘value added’ archives offer to public inquiries;
  • challenge the cost and benefits of commodifying content; and,
  • discuss the critical use of data to evidence decision making and resource allocation for Oxford’s Bodleian’s libraries.

Nancy Bell, Visiting Scholar, Northumbria University

Public value has been defined as a ‘way of thinking about, articulating, and (ideally) increasing the value of the services provided by public agencies. In recent years a number of high profile public inquiries such as Hillsborough stadium disaster  and child sex abuse investigations across the UK and Ireland are only possible because the archival record, the raw data for these investigations, has been preserved. Imagine the loss of trust in the public realm, and the rule of law without the evidence base? We need to demonstrate the public value of this information, and no better time as we live in a world where the rule of law is challenged and individuals and groups are under threat. Understanding the public value of the archival record to pubic inquiries will be presented.

David Thomas, Visiting Professor Northumbria University iSchool

One method for determining the value of a service is contingent valuation which is normally measured by the willingness of people to pay. Archives are provided free of charge in the UK and so  willingness to pay is currently determined by the use of surveys.  This paper, based on extensive research in the family history community, will explore whether using the subscriptions paid by users of the large family history companies (Ancestry and FindMyPast) as well as the membership fees of subscription libraries, coupled with the royalties paid by the companies to archives can be used as a measure of value.

Frankie Wilson, Head of Analytics and Secretariat, Bodleian Libraries

Frankie Wilson will use the example of the Bodleian Libraries to challenge those who believe it is too difficult to evidence the value, impacts and benefits of archive and library services. Since her arrival five years ago, Frankie has been mandated to create a ‘culture of assessment’ in the Libraries. Although not easy to achieve, and by no means yet complete, this culture change has resulted in the use of evidence for decision-making, advocacy, and evidence of impact by the Bodleian Libraries.

P4. Curative collections: preserving and reflecting voices in conflict, dissent, and displacement

This panel will explore the role our organisations can take in preserving and presenting collections concerned with, or at risk from, conflict and trauma, and the political, ethical and emotional challenges that emanate from such a task.

Chaired by Jennifer Vickers, Research Associate, Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust


The Endangered Archives Programme: digitising vulnerable material around the world

Jody Butterworth, EAP Curator, British Library

Archives around the world can be at risk due to general neglect, poor storage or damaging environmental conditions; they can also be at danger due to wanton destruction. An increasing threat to documentary heritage is through globalisation, which often results in homogenisation and the loss of cultural traditions. The Endangered Archives Programme, which was set up in 2004, tries to address these issues. It has currently supported over 300 projects in 90 countries worldwide, resulting in 6 million images and 25 thousand sound tracks available online via the British Library website for the benefit of researchers worldwide.


Crossing the Minefield: The Easter Rising and its commemorative impact

Estelle Gittins, Assistant Librarian (Manuscripts), the Library of Trinity College Dublin

In 2016 Ireland commemorated the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising, a divisive conflict which preceded the birth of an independent nation. Historical collections were central to the commemoration on a national, local and personal level.

This presentation explores the minefields navigated in commemorating a history with enduring political resonances. It also considers the initial, and longer term, impact of the ‘Changed Utterly’ commemorative project developed by the Library of Trinity College Dublin and examines how the unprecedented nation-wide focus on the value of history and culture resulted in an increase in public awareness and political recognition.

Back to the future: Archives, digitisation, and storytelling in times of conflict

Jane Bramwell, Head of Library, Archive and Collection Access, Tate
Hannah Barton, Project Coordinator for the Archives & Access Project, Tate

Archives are preserved for the generations: they enrich society intellectually, culturally and economically, cultivating an understanding about past and contemporary moments alike.

Today, digitally accessible archives have a huge potential to inspire and inform. But beyond publication, what can done to ensure that digitised collections are accessed?

This paper identifies the practicalities of providing digital access to archives, and in reference to the archives of three individuals who lived during the tumultuous 1930’s and 1940’s, considers how storytelling can foster engagement with cultural histories: situating the social and artistic significance of historic contributions whilst exploring how archives can resonate today.

P5. Engaging communities: crowdsourcing, creative spaces and cultural cohesion

This panel will look at four projects that have used digital and physical spaces to engage with their communities, bringing together new and existing audiences in joint conversation and unveiling hidden and diverse voices within their collections.

Chaired by Richard Wragg, Archivist, The National Gallery


Lost in the crowd: building and managing communities of interest

Karl Magee, University Archivist, University of Stirling

Is the reading room still the central focus of an archives service? Today our users are as likely to engage with our collections through social media as visit the searchroom in person. Patterns of use and methods of engagement with archives are changing. This paper will look at the challenges of connecting with new audiences, both physical and virtual. It will draw on recent experiences at the University of Stirling including the Peter Mackay Archive crowdfunding project, which raised funds to support the cataloguing and digitisation of a new collection of material relating to Southern African history.


Spreading the Word – Creative social impact work with schools

Robin Johnson, Education Consultant & Honorary Lecturer, Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham
Jhinuk Sarkar, Freelance Illustrator & Artist

As part of the Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund project “Spreading the Word”, the Cadbury Research Library worked with freelance illustrator and artist, Jhinuk Sarkar and two local Birmingham primary schools to create “amazing manuscripts” based on collections of middle eastern hand-written documents in the designated Mingana collection held by the University of Birmingham.

This paper outlines the innovative techniques employed by the CRL and Jhinuk to not only create beautiful artwork, but also the methods used to enable a socially and culturally inclusive project.

Our Collections Our Memory: National Library of Scotland at Kelvin Hall

Ruth Washbrook, Moving Image and Sound Collections Manager, National Library of Scotland
Gill Hamilton, Digital Access Manager, National Library of Scotland

In September 2016, National Library of Scotland opened a new facility at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow. The centre is a contemporary, state-of-the-art facility showcasing the Library’s moving image and digital collections, in a welcoming and engaging public space, using innovative digital technologies that are integrated in a complementary way. Our presentation will; outline why the Library opened a facility in Glasgow away from its traditional home in Edinburgh, explain the underlying design principles, describe technologies used to showcase collections and engage visitors, and present the evidence we have on how the collections are impacting people’s lives and communities.


Oxford Alternative Stories: Diversifying the University voice

Victoria McGuinness, TORCH Business Manager, University of Oxford
Jess Suess, Digital Projects Manager, Oxford University Museums Partnership
Ted Koterwas, Team Lead, Web and Mobile Applications, University of Oxford

TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities) and the Pitt Rivers Museum have been working collaboratively to develop a mobile platform that allows them to ‘crowdsource’ content from the collections. We are diversifying the voices heard by including source communities, students, researchers to create content that can engage and connect the public with that research.

This paper will share come of the challenges in crowdsourcing this kind of content and reflections of using research content to connect and have impact on new audiences, as well as the opportunities to be a pathway to impact for research.

P6. Engaging audiences with real and imagined cultural environments

The use of technology to creative immersive, interactive and entertaining audience experiences is a key emerging trend within the cultural economy. This panel will look at four examples of these projects, from escape rooms to 3D visualisations.

Chaired by Christina Kamposiori, Programme Officer, RLUK

Remembrance of things past: recreating the lost world of medieval pilgrimage to St Thomas Becket in Canterbury

Louise Hampson, Research & Impact Officer, The Centre for the Study of Christianity & Culture, University of York

The Centre for the Study of Christianity & Culture has recently completed a three-year AHRC funded research project, ‘Pilgrimage and England’s Cathedrals, past and present’, within which we have digitally-modelled the four Becket sites within Canterbury Cathedral with which pilgrims would have interacted. Using detailed archival research and animation techniques, we have been able to interrogate the evidence and test hypotheses regarding actual spaces and practice, as well as recreate the rich visual experience of being a pilgrim in that space for the public. This paper presents the processes in the production of those models and the models themselves.


Night at the Library: escape rooms and opening up library collections

Matthew Shaw, School of Advanced Study, University of London

As the revival and adaption of the TV show Crystal Maze demonstrates, ‘escape rooms’ are having a cultural moment, as well as being experimented with by libraries, archives and museums as a way of opening up their collections to a wider audience. Drawing on the Institute of Historical Research’s experiences of developing and hosting ‘Night at the Library: Books of Hope and Fear’ in November 2016 as part of the Being Human Festival of the Humanities, this paper will reflect on the opportunities and challenges offered to cultural organisations by exploring a playful engagement with their collections and build environment.


Traces/Olion: a ‘subtle mob’ for National Museum Wales

Sara Huws, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales
Dafydd James, Head of Digital, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales
Alison John, Producer, yellobrick
Dr. Jenny Kidd, School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University

‘Traces is part story, part game, and part meditation. It is a narrative composition inspired by the St. Fagans site, and a partnership project between Cardiff University, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and creative marketing and street games company yellobrick. This project will introduce Traces and offer reflections on the partnership and impact work that has been going on around it.’


Charles Booth’s London: imagining the Victorian metropolis

Neil Stewart, Digital Library Manager, LSE Library, London School of Economics and Political Science

Charles Booth’s London is a newly redeveloped website which makes available LSE Library’s Charles Booth archive. The archive contains the famous Poverty Maps and Police Notebooks, which together provide a richly evocative picture of Victorian London in all its contrasting poverty and wealth. The presentation will describe the project to create Charles Booth’s London, including the technical challenges of associating maps and archives in a website, and the efforts to make its contents accessible to a wide set of audiences. The presentation will feature a live demonstration of the site to illustrate these technical, design and accessibility features.

P7. Heritage and the human experience: hidden voices, social cohesion and diversity

This panel will look at three projects that have uncovered the hidden voices of minority groups within UK archives, and the different ways in which they have made them heard to both established researchers and wider audiences.

Chaired by Arike Oke, Collection Development Archivist, Wellcome Library

Queer City: Recreating the 1930s Caravan Club

Rowena Hillel, Education and Outreach, The National Archives (joint)
Victoria Iglikowski, Diverse Records Specialist, The National Archives (joint)
Emma King, London Creative Programme Co-ordinator, National Trust

In February-March 2017 The National Archives and the National Trust collaborated on ‘Queer City: London Club Culture 1918-1967’, a ground-breaking project to mark 50 years since the passing of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act. The project combined archival documents, a recreated club space which opened for a month, immersive performances, and community-led tours that brought to life the 1930s queer-friendly venue, The Caravan.

The project met with critical and public acclaim from sector peers and in the media, and tested a new model for connecting collections with communities. The panel session considers the project from three angles: (i) the role of the archives in inspiring and developing the project; (ii) the role of the producer-designer in interpreting those collections, and; (iii) how the wider programme of events was created and received by the communities it sought to engage.


The ‘Testifying to the Truth’ Project: Rethinking Online Access to Holocaust Testimony

Toby Simpson and Jessica Green, The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide

The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide’s Digital Team will present their ‘Testifying to the Truth’ project, which aims to shine light on the valuable and under-utilised testimonies of persecuted minorities during the Holocaust. The work of Holocaust survivors has played an important educational role across communities in the UK, but in-person visits are becoming increasingly impossible. To keep their voices alive and help more people around the world bear witness, the Library is working to translate, digitise, and make freely accessible online their rare collections of early Holocaust testimony.

Hearing Hidden Voices: Enabling discovery of disability history in UK archives

Beth Astridge, Consultant Archivist, Accentuate UK History of Place Project
Kerry Massheder-Rigby, History of Place Project Coordinator, Museum of Liverpool

History of Place is a nationally significant social history programme investigating 800 years in the lives of deaf and disabled people in relation to eight built heritage sites. The project has revealed that the voices of deaf and disabled people continue to be hidden in the archive record. Our presentation will focus on ways of ensuring the voices of deaf and disabled people are included in archive collections, how we can make archives more accessible for all, and why it is important that deaf and disabled people play an integral role in the interpretation of archive collections about disability.

P8. The impact of special collections in academic research partnerships

This panel will address the broader social and cultural impact of academic research through partnerships with heritage organisations, and the potential of collections to fulfil the assessment criteria for the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Chaired by Fiona Bradley, Deputy Executive Director, RLUK

Research impact in cultural and academic partnerships: historians and the National Trust

Hannah Barker, Professor of British History, University of Manchester
Sasha Handley, Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History, University of Manchester

The research impact agenda in British Higher Education has provided universities and researchers with a powerful impetus to demonstrate the value of their research outside academia. At the same time, organisations such as the National Trust are beginning to explore how embedding academic research into their interpretation and programming can both improve visitor experiences, deepen engagement, and attract more diverse audiences. This presentation discusses two very different collaborative projects in the north of England which bring together the National Trust’s sites and collections and historians researching sleep in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and domestic space and the ‘household family’ in the early industrial revolution.

Museums on Prescription: Evaluating the effects of cultural heritage on mental wellbeing and social inclusion in a large-scale social prescribing project for older adults

Linda JM Thomson, Senior Research Associate, UCL Culture University College London

Museums on Prescription is a large-scale, three-year research project (2014-17) conducted by University College London and Canterbury Christ Church University with museum, health and social care, and third sector partners in central London and Kent. The project established innovative, experiential, museum-based programmes for older adults at risk of social isolation. Objectives were to assess improvements in mental wellbeing and social inclusion through museum participation using robust quantitative and qualitative methods. The project was informed by an extensive review of social prescribing schemes (e.g. arts on prescription, exercise referral) referring patients with social, emotional or practical needs to non-clinical, community services.


One ring to rule them all? Evaluating the multi-faceted impact of university archives and special collections

Jessica Lutkin, Research Impact Officer (Arts & Humanities), University of Reading

University archives and special collections are significant features of an institution, yet are renowned for being challenging to evaluate because of their varied functions, answering to different funders, governors and end-users. This presentation questions whether it is possible to evaluate the impact of a university archive or special collection so that it answers all the demands of different evaluation criteria of (for example) the REF, ILAF, university executive boards, and the public. The University of Reading’s archives and Special Collections will be used as a case studies to highlight how this can and will be achieved.

P9. Curating collections: the cultural, social, and economic value of collecting

This panel will look at the ways in which creative collecting choices can enhance the social, cultural and economic value of collections, and increase the diversity of the communities and voices represented with the heritage sector.

Chaired by Kirsty Fife, Curator of Library and Archives, National Science and Media Museum

Collecting Life: Acquisition of a Refugee’s Life Jacket from Lesvos

Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections, Manchester Museum

The acquisition of a refugee’s life jacket by Manchester Museum as part of its ambitious Collecting Life project is aimed at reinvigorating collecting by museums in a time of austerity. This paper offers a case study of the collecting of a life jacket abandoned by a refugee on the island of Lesvos and shows how digital media may be used to document the context of such acquisitions and to engage the museum audience. This work requires curators to diversify their skill set, as well as working outside traditional curatorial and disciplinary boundaries and it offers exciting new opportunities for engagement.


Building Happy Bridges: Using partnerships to bring the Cusichaca Archive to London University

Caroline Kimbell, Associate Director, Commercial Licensing and Digitisation, Senate House Library, University of London

When UCL archaeologist Anne Kendall crossed the Urubamba in Peru in 1977 she little suspected that a shipping container would one day house the records of 40 years of literally ground-breaking research into Inca infrastructure which her expedition had begun. Through reconstructing irrigation canals, and researching ethno-botany and pottery, the Cusichaca Trust is responsible for revitalising a high-Andean valley and the university where it began is today using a 3-way partnership to process, accession and secure the archive of that work. This case-study will explore how teaching and commercial partnerships can raise REF scores, achieve global impact and generate revenue.


Coming in from the Cold: Narrowing the gap between community engagement and collection development

Jennie Vickers, Research Associate, Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust
Hannah Niblett, Collections Access Officer, Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre

What happens to the outputs of community-led heritage projects? Why are they so rarely accessioned into registered collections? Can we create a model for projects that benefit both communities and collecting institutions? We want to explore these questions, which have been raised by the first phase of our HLF-supported project Coming in from the Cold, and share our experience as a heritage organisation with a holistic approach to community engagement and collection development.  Quality control, project planning, ethics and meaningful collections access all pose challenges as we attempt to develop a collection that accurately represents the communities we serve.

P10. Opening up collections through digital technology and online toolkits

This panel will look at how three projects have opened up the content of physical collections using digital technologies, and how the creation of online toolkits has allowed their work to be replicated.

Chaired by Sarah Mahurter, Manager of Archives & Special Collections, University of the Arts


Revealing hidden voices and democratising NYC’s cultural heritage through mobile digitisation

Caroline Catchpole, Digitisation Specialist, Metropolitan New York Library Council

Culture In Transit was a project to help small cultural heritage organisations and community members provide online access to their materials through the creation and use of a mobile digitisation kit. The outreach-centred digitisation model aimed to diversify New York City’s historical record by including voices and communities previously hidden from the online record.

The project also aimed to make the model replicable with the publication of an online toolkit to enable others to take the initiative into their own communities, open up hidden heritage and diversify the histories and stories of local communities online.

What next after digitisation?  Handwritten text recognition in the READ project   

Louise Seaward, Research Associate, Bentham Project, Faculty of Laws, University College London

The Recognition and Enrichment of Archival Documents (READ project is focused on making archival material more accessible through the use of Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) technology.  The project is making this technology freely available through the Transkribus platform and other related research tools. This paper will explain how Transkribus allows users to automatically recognise and search handwritten documents of various languages, dates and styles.  It will demonstrate how numerous archives have begun to benefit from this technology and suggest its potential to revolutionise the exploration, transcription and indexing of historical collections by both professional and public users.


Archives in 3D: A multidisciplinary approach to digital engagement

Hannah Rice, Archives Assistant, East Riding Archives

In celebration of Hull City of Culture 2017, ‘Archives in 3D’ were a series of practical 3D modelling workshops at the East Riding Archives combining digital techniques, interpretation skills, architectural history and the creative reuse of collections. These workshops were an opportunity for participants to recreate Hull and East Riding built heritage whilst learning how to use collections to inspire and inform their own historical reconstructions. This presentation will explore the lessons learned, practicalities and impact of a multidisciplinary approach to digital engagement.

P11. New audiences for historical science archives

This panel explores three approaches to developing new audiences for science archives through outreach and education activities aimed at school children, older people and internal colleagues, delivered both face-to-face and through online learning packages.

Chaired by Katrina Dean, Curator of Scientific Collections, Cambridge University Library


Promoting the Ross collection in collaboration with academic colleagues

Victoria Cranna, Archivist & Records Manager, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

The Archives team at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is working with academic colleagues to promote the work of the School as well as the Archives Service. Using the archives of Sir Ronald Ross, the discoverer of the mosquito transmission of malaria, archivists can provide the historical context, while scientists can give an in-depth insight into the methods used and the relevance of this material to the work they are doing today. Working together gives the audience, whether they are school children, staff, students or the general public, a greater understanding of the importance of this material.

Delving into and disseminating Darwin’s letters

Sally Stafford, Education and Outreach Officer, Darwin Correspondence Project, Cambridge University Library

The Darwin Correspondence Project is publishing in print and online the most comprehensive collection of Darwin’s correspondence, amounting to over 15,000 letters. The letters provide an insight into Darwin’s personality, life and times and explore his scientific ways of working. They are a fantastic research resource but how can we share them with wider audiences?


Comets and Caroline Herschel: using historical astronomical observations in school outreach activities

Sheila Kanani, Outreach, Education and Diversity Officer, Royal Astronomical Society
Sian Prosser, Librarian and Archivist, Royal Astronomical Society

The Royal Astronomical Society is committed to increasing its public engagement activities to promote the understanding of astronomy and geophysics, and seeks to use its collections as part of its outreach activities. This paper discusses the process followed by the outreach officer and the librarian as they planned a new primary school workshop about comets and Caroline Herschel, from choosing an audience to selecting an astronomer whose working papers could be related to current developments in astronomy, and deciding how to interpret the history and the science using primary sources, science demonstrations and drama.

P12. The politics of collections: advocacy and institutional support

This panel will look at three examples of how the use of evidence gathering, training programmes and collaborative working can enable archives and libraries to advocate for the value of their staff and services, and gain institutional support.

Chaired by Mark Dorrington, Keeper of Manuscripts & Special Collections, University of Nottingham


Archives West Midlands: Collaboration for advocacy and sustainability

Joanna Terry, Head of Staffordshire Archives & Heritage and AWM Trustee, Staffordshire County Council
Mary McKenzie, Shropshire Archives Manager and AWM Trustee, Shropshire Council

Archives West Midlands (AWM) is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) launched in June 2016. The West Midlands is the only region in which archives services have come together as a charity to enable the sector to be more visible and sustainable for the future. Establishing the new organisation was only possible with initial funding from the National Archives to explore the best model for the archive services to work more closely together.
A year after the launch this paper will share learning from the process of establishing the CIO and key achievements in the first year.

Reaching In (and Out) with Bradford Leaders

Alison Cullingford, Special Collections Librarian, University of Bradford

How taking part in an intensive leadership training programme helped a small Special Collections service to build new connections with colleagues, show our value to our senior managers, and make a difference to our University and our city.  The paper explores the challenges of inreach, the costs and benefits of leadership programmes, and the wider lessons that can be learned from Bradford’s experiences.


Demonstrating the economic value of heritage and culture: making friends and influencing people

Victoria Bryant, Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service Manager, Worcestershire County Council

At DCDC we understand the tangible value of heritage but our parent organisations and the public often cannot see the added value we provide. We know we must raise our profile, engage with new audiences and generate more income. This is challenge enough but the bigger challenge can be convincing others to allow us to take risks and work in new ways.

This paper will look at how we have developed ideas and business models and sold them to our parent body. It looks at what we have achieved, where we need to go and the enormous power of advocacy.