Attended the Business Archives Council (BAC) annual conference on Thursday in the spectacular venue of the Royal Albert Hall. It attracted a large number of delegates, including some from as far away as Switzerland and Japan. The programme, entitled ‘Let the Right One In? – Challenging Perceptions of Access to Business Archives’, discussed ideas and issues around access with the aim of producing a policy statement on access. Kiara King gave a fascinating run-through of different types of social media with examples of how business archives had used them, so there’s no excuse for not giving it a go! It was interesting to hear from the director of Pentabus, a small community theatre company based in Shropshire and recipient of the first cataloguing grant for business archives related to the arts. She outlined the value of their volunteers to the project and how receiving the funding had been the basis of building a new working relationship with Shropshire Record Office. There was an opportunity at lunchtime to look at some of the treasures from the Royal Albert Hall’s collections, including Queen Victoria’s commode from the days before lavatories were installed in the building! Some of us also managed to have a peek at the auditorium from a box. The day was rounded off with a celebratory drink in a nearby hostelry in honour of the BAC’s 80th anniversary and more opportunities for networking!
Explore Your Archive 2014 was launched on Monday. The successor to Archives Awareness Week, the Archives & Records Association (ARA) aimed to build on and exceed last year’s success. They seem to have achieved it as Twitter traffic was high and some national press and media coverage was gained although it was probably more successful at a local level. To read some of the stories click on the link – http://exploreyourarchive.org/#about
Finally, and closer to my heart, last week also saw the launch of Unilever Archives’ online catalogue as part of the service’s 30th anniversary celebrations, accessible here http://unilever-archives.com/ or from the Archives page on the Unilever website.