At Archives for London (AfL) we are passionate about London’s archives. Our events programme is designed to celebrate and help people get more out of the diversity of London’s documentary heritage. At times, this precious heritage and the organisations that care for them need support to help others understand their vital and unique role in the story of London and its people. AfL works independently but collaboratively to keep London’s archives safe and accessible for current and future generations.
The AfL archives healthcheck has been designed to help archive services identify key information and opportunities in light of the current economic and political environment. It will also inform AfL’s advocacy activities.
Please complete the healthcheck form and return it to AfL using our online form: take survey now
The archives health check is part of AfL’s advocacy work for archives and archive users in London.
Our activities will:
- Seek to act as a coordination point on the impact of cuts, through direct contact with lead professionals and a checklist survey for services to complete and return to us
- Work closely with The National Archives Regional and Networks team and the Archives & Records Association (ARA)
- Liaise and work with the British Records Association
- Ensure that the AfL team includes sector champions for local government and higher education in the first instance with the potential to expand to other areas.
In continuing to make direct representations where services are placed under real threat, we have taken a different stance from ARA. Our role of advocacy is helped in that we are not a professional body and we take a view on the long term viability and strength of an archive service, not the position of any individual staff member, however highly they may be esteemed in their local community. Where appropriate we also advocate partnership working – the kind of creative thinking The National Archive Strategy and new strategic vision put forward as one possible route to create stronger and more sustainable services.
London local authority and higher education services face considerable challenges. Advocacy, good news stories and demonstrating the value of what archives do for their specialist and geographic communities will become an increasingly important part of what AfL does. However doing our best to support services under threat may take precedence at times.
For more background read ‘Advocacy: the role of Archives for London’ by David Mander, originally published in ARA Newsletter, March 2011.