Archives Revealed funds ten new cataloguing projects

Archives Revealed has awarded ten new cataloguing grants, totalling nearly £400,000, to archives across the UK. The funding programme, which is a collaboration between The National Archives, the Pilgrim Trust and the Wolfson Foundation, transforms access to archives for a wide variety of users.

The successful cataloguing grant applicants are:

  • Black Cultural Archives (£42,100)
  • De Montfort University Special Collections (£41,460)
  • Hackney Archives (£44,944)
  • Holocaust Survivors Friendship Association (£17,900)
  • Institute of International Visual Arts (£45,000)
  • National Museums Northern Ireland (£43,500)
  • South West Heritage Trust (£37,000)
  • St George’s, University of London (£44,944)
  • Trafford Local Studies Centre (£33,600)
  • University of Kent (£28,662)

Jeff James, Chief Executive and Keeper of The National Archives said:

“We are delighted to have awarded these new grants with our partners the Wolfson Foundation and the Pilgrim Trust to catalogue ten impressive collections of local, national and even international importance. A catalogue opens a door for anyone to discover the incredible contents of an archive – after that, the possibilities are limitless.”

These archive services will use their grants to catalogue an amazing variety of collections, covering subjects such as nursing, pantomime, architecture and personal papers.

Image courtesy of University of Kent – “Oh Yes It Is!” Cataloguing the David Drummond Pantomime Collection.

Sue Bowers, Chair of the Archives Revealed Panel and Director of the Pilgrim Trust said:

“The Panel was particularly impressed by the range and quality of the applications this year and by the many fascinating hidden stories that the archives contain. We are pleased to support these ten projects, each of which will have significant impact for communities and researchers.”

The Holocaust Survivors Friendship Association, for example, will catalogue its archive depicting the lives of over 90 people who survived the Holocaust and established new lives in Northern England. National Museums Northern Ireland will compile a detailed inventory of its unique manuscript collections that record native Ulster vernacular writing and local speech.

Trafford Local Studies Centre will catalogue a large collection of over 100,000 individual drawings of private and municipal projects. Trafford Councillor Joanne Harding said: “This cataloguing project will not only allow us to better assist residents in the study of their houses and local neighbourhoods, but will also give architects, historians, and other scholars a remarkable opportunity to uncover new and exciting information.”

Black Cultural Archives will catalogue the McKenzie Heritage Picture Archives, which was founded by photographer Anita J. McKenzie to ensure better representation of Black and Asian history. One of the first of its kind in Europe and spanning the 18th to 21st century, this collection holds imagery from photographers who captured authentic, everyday experiences from the perspective of these communities.

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said:

We are thrilled to continue our partnership with The National Archives and the Pilgrim Trust to catalogue significant collections from across the UK. These grants open up precious but hard to access collections, and the ten wonderful archives supported this round are no exception.”

Image courtesy of The Holocaust Survivors Friendship Association – Unlocking the Holocaust in the North of England.

While these newly funded projects are beginning their cataloguing journey, numerous organisations supported by Archives Revealed have already made enormous progress in opening up their collections.

Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Archives holds the records of the Aberdeen Harbour Board, which has a claim to being the oldest existing business in Britain. Funded by Archives Revealed in 2019, they have now catalogued over 12,500 entries so that the entire collection is available in their online catalogue for researchers to access.

As well as cataloguing over 5,000 items, The National Trust digitised 4,600 unseen photographs from the Edward Chambre Hardman photographic collections. The National Trust has also conserved and rehoused more than 16,000 items to ensure that these collections can be used by future generations.

The Garden Museum catalogued the Beth Chatto archive and made it available to the public for the first time by using the Manage Your Collections tool to upload their information to The National Archives’ online catalogue Discovery. The Garden Museum then used their records to create an exhibition and deliver workshops based on the GCSE science curriculum.

Find out more about all the cataloguing projects funded by Archives Revealed.

Tags: archive sector, Archives Revealed, Funding