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Two weeks with no blog is a very bad show on my part but there is no rest for the wicked and I have been out of the office a lot in the past two weeks, so finding the time to write this has been hard. Last Monday, while sadly no young ladies proposed to me (being a leap year and the 29 February), I was hard at work, presenting at the ‘Archives into the Future’ conference at the British Library in London.
The event was organised by The University of Hull Antislavery Useable Past project and sought to bring together academics, researchers and practitioners to discuss charity archives. I was invited to speak on a panel in the afternoon entitled, ‘Experiences from the archives’. I shared the platform with representatives from the Bishopsgate Institute, Salvation Army International Heritage Centre, Together Trust and Prof. Pat Thane from the Institute for Contemporary British History. All of whom work hard to curate and share archives of ‘voluntary action’. It was a very good panel (if I do say so myself).
What I always find so interesting about attending and being able to contribute to this sort of event is that idea of different approaches we discover to shared problems and experience; the chance to see how other care for maintain and make accessible their collections and the opportunity to discuss issues in depth with my peers.
This is especially relevant to Royal Voluntary Service as we enter our 78th Year, and the 58th year since the foundation of the Archive, back in 1958. In May we are going to embark on a significant development project for the archive. This will provide a blueprint for a new permanent home and also work out how we can make our collections more accessible to everyone; at the same time as making it sustainable in a world of ever tighter budgets and demands on the resources of charities like ourselves.
At Royal Voluntary Service we are immensely proud of our archive and the stories it tells of the contribution by millions of women to British society and we hope by September 2017 we will have worked out solutions to many of our challenges.
As our project progresses hopefully I can give you more updates in the future.
Picture: University of Hull
Posted by Matthew McMurray, Royal Voluntary Service Archivist at 09:00
Monday, 07 March 2016.
Together Trust ,
Institute for Contemporary British history,
University of Hull,
Antislavery Useable Past ,
Salvation Army International Heritage Centre