The National Archives celebrates the achievements of archive trainees

Today at The National Archives the achievements of 12 archive trainees were celebrated. They formed the final cohort of the Transforming Archives programme.

Transforming Archives is part of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Skills for the Future programme, which has provided 37 paid traineeships for people new to the archive sector between 2014 and 2017 in England. The year-long traineeships have provided an introduction to archives, training and on-the-job development in areas ranging from digital preservation to traditional skills such as palaeography and Latin.

Archive trainees were presented with certificates for their achievements at the event and three trainees were also awarded prizes for their winning submissions to The National Archives’ Trainee Project Award.

One of this year’s trainees, Drew, has spent the last year at Archives + and was awarded a prize for his work on a digitisation project in relation to Manchester’s LGBT+ history. He said:

“This year has been life changing, especially working on a project that I feel passionate about. I feel like I’ve made a mark on the heritage sector and now know that I want to work in the archive sector.”

Jeff James, Chief Executive and Keeper of The National Archives, spoke at the event and presented the trainees with their certificates of achievements. He said:

“I’m delighted to celebrate Transforming Archives, and to congratulate all of the trainees on their achievements. Transforming Archives has inspired new ways of thinking and working, and it has nurtured the talents of people from non-traditional backgrounds to become the next generation of archivists.”

The National Archives continues to build on the success of this programme and has recently received support from the HLF to enable it to make a first step towards expanding digital expertise across the archive sector through the Bridging the Digital Gap project.

Awarded as part of the HLF’s Skills for the Future programme, this initial development funding (£28,700) will help create a training plan in digital archival skills and a recruitment strategy, designed to attract a broad range of candidates. It is the first phase of an ambitious £749,300 total bid which will culminate (from 2018) in 24 digital traineeships, based in archives around England.

Read more about the Bridging the Digital Gap project.

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Funding for local authority archives for taking in public records

Today The National Archives announces £660,000 of ‘New Burdens’ funding to 60 local authority archive services for taking in over 2000 metres of public records for permanent preservation last year under the 20-year rule programme.

In 2015 legislative changes introduced a new 20-year transfer point for public record transfers to local archives appointed as ‘places of deposit’ under the Public Records Act. This requires records created by certain public bodies to be transferred earlier than under the previous ‘30-year rule’. The ten-year transition phase for implementation affects around 1200 courts, NHS organisations and prisons in England and Wales.

Central government funding of £6.6 million is being delivered by The National Archives between 2016 and 2025 to places of deposit which take in certain types of public records, such as records of NHS hospitals and magistrates’ courts. Additional funding is available to coroner areas that select and transfer records for permanent preservation to places of deposit. The funding will assist local authorities in covering the costs of managing accelerated record transfers in the transition to the 20-year rule.

The National Archives annually surveys affected organisations to identify record holdings and transfers. Responses for 2016 have been published in the Record Transfer Report for Local Bodies.

Read more about The National Archives’ 20-year rule programme.

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Opening up our House

We are participating in Open House London on Saturday 16 September 2017.

The event will mark 40 years since The National Archives has been at the Kew site.

Our Brutalist building is one of the few post-War modern masterpieces in the borough of Richmond participating in Open House London.

Take part in a site tour and see how we use the space to preserve and conserve the nation’s historical documents for future generations and get an insight into how the building was designed.

Join us for specialist talks, document displays and screenings, charting the history of The National Archives and showcasing the highlights of our collection.

You don’t need to book to attend Open House, but some events are restricted by numbers, so it’s wise to reserve places ahead of the day. Book tickets.

Please note that if you are planning to do research here during Open House weekend, the building will be busier than usual, especially around the ground-floor restaurant and the Events space on the first floor.

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New resource for A level students: Protest and Democracy 1818-1820

‘From all the inquiries we can make, there appears to be five or six dead — as many mortally wounded, and not less than 300 severely and slightly wounded. The tragic relation is much heightened from the universal conviction, that all the blood which has been spilled, has been most wantonly and unnecessarily spilled.’

Manchester Observer, 21 August 1819

In 1819, a series of mass radical meetings climaxed in a rally of 60,000 people at St Peter’s Fields, Manchester. The meeting began peacefully with flags, banners, and music; however, local magistrates feared trouble and sent in the army in the form of the Manchester Yeomanry and the regular Hussars. Reports in the press told of numerous deaths and hundreds of casualties at ‘Peterloo’, many supposedly inflicted by cavalry sabres.

The second part of our new classroom resources for A level students – Protest and Democracy 1818 to 1820 – highlights further events of the turbulent years following the Napoleonic wars. Featuring a collection of over 40 original documents, this resource focuses on events at Peterloo in Manchester and during the Cato Street conspiracy in London. With serious unrest in Yorkshire and armed insurrections in Ireland and Scotland, for a while revolution seemed imminent.

This document collection is relevant for students and teachers following particular modules in A level history across all three main exam boards. It offers direct insights into the turmoil of the time, and can support A level History students studying the political, social and cultural aspects of 19th century British history.

Visit our new resources:

  • Protest and Democracy 1816 to 1818, part 1
  • Protest and Democracy 1818 to 1820, part 2

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Students time-travel in our new SEN workshop

Today the Education team is proud to welcome students from Clarendon School, Hampton, on site: they are the first participants in our new special educational needs (SEN) workshop, ‘Treasures of The National Archives’.

In this workshop, students explore a few of the unique documents from our collection, finding out how we can use them to learn about history. Travelling back in time to the Victorian period, the students learn about what life was like using images taken from our records and relating them to different sensory objects. This helps bring the past to life for our visitors as they use their senses to make direct connections with history.

The workshop ends with a creative craft activity: students make their own treasure boxes for storing precious possessions, alongside small facsimiles of the documents they explored in the workshop.

More information on the Education team’s SEN provision is coming to the website soon. In the meantime you can contact the team at education@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk.

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