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The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) commissioned Cultural Consulting Network in March 2008 to conduct a piece of landscape research to assess the place of community archives within the broader context of community heritage and community development work.
Building on the independent research into the impact of community archives, commissioned in 2006 by the Community Archives Development Group (CADG) of the National Council on Archives, the research was intended to help CADG and MLA identify key players, partners, and agencies with an interest in community archives.
Specifically, the brief for this short research study was to:
• Look across the broad spectrum of ‘community heritage’ activity to identify the range and scope of organisations or groups involved, including their focus of activity or support for community archives;
• Identify the role and function of the main community heritage ‘sectors’, and map out existing support and advisory organisations;
• Summarise the issues faced by the community heritage and archive sectors and the collective needs that are not currently being met by existing support structures;
• Make recommendations about how the future structure, role and activities of CADG can best engage in influencing these support structures. To also outline what kind of offer the MLA could make towards supporting community archiving, both in terms of support to CADG and wider work with its partners.