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Transforming local archives in an age of austerity

The National Archives and the Local Government Association (LGA) have published a new series of 13 case studies illustrating what work councils can do to transform local archive services “despite a background of continuing austerity”.

Jeff James, keeper and chief executive of the National Archive, stated that local authorities make up the backbone of the country’s network of archives, with more than 125 councils running this type of service.

He added: “The records preserved by local archives can be invaluable in the pursuit of justice – recent examples include the use of coroners’ records by the Hillsborough Independent

Panel and NHS records informing the investigation of allegations of historical abuse on NHS premises.”

However, the landscape of archives across the country is changing, as is the way in which they deliver their services.

“Throughout the UK archives are finding innovative solutions in response to the need to find savings. In many instances they are part of joint services which operate across a range of heritage and cultural services and geographical areas,” said James.

“They are often funded across multiple authorities while delivering statutory responsibilities in relation to storage, preservation and access. Increasingly, new service delivery models are being explored including outsourcing, shared services and ‘spin-outs’.”

To find out how your organisation can help maintain and develop this important facility which helps us develop an understanding of the past and present, while promoting transparency, click here.

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