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Results of local authority archive survey out now

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Results of local authority archive survey out now

Archive strategy consultation closing soon

Archive strategy consultation closing soon

03 April 2009

This year's local authority archive survey results reveal that, despite improvements in certain services, huge disparities remain between archives across the country. These inconsistencies mean that archives are not fulfilling their full potential, and communities could be missing out on a fantastic resource.

The results of the latest survey are now available to view online, as well as results from previous surveys.

According to the latest survey, co-ordinated by The National Archives, the larger services are more likely to be high-performing than smaller ones.

The main challenges identified by the survey are:

  • Preserving digital records: no archive service yet has an active digital preservation programme, though some promising developments have been brought to light
  • Cataloguing and access: most services still have large backlogs of uncatalogued or inadequately catalogued material, which makes material harder to access
  • Buildings and facilities: many archive services need better facilities to secure a sustainable future and quality of service provision

Nevertheless, the survey also revealed some champions in the archive sector, demonstrating the real value of these important institutions. The top five were:

  • London Metropolitan Archives (88%)
  • Norfolk (85.6%)
  • Hampshire (84.5%)
  • East Riding of Yorkshire (81%) joint with West Sussex (81%)
  • Westminster (80.5%)

"Archives are an irreplaceable resource and, when at their best, they can offer a fantastic service and empower local communities", commented Nick Kingsley, Head of Archives Sector Development at The National Archives. "Though there is still a long way to go, this year's survey shows that things are beginning to move in the right direction to ensure a sustainable future for these invaluable institutions."

 

 

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