Our refreshed international strategic plan
In 2019, we set out how we would connect with the biggest and most diverse audience possible in the most innovative ways we can. As a cultural, heritage and educational institution as well as a UK Government department, we committed to becoming a Disruptive, Entrepreneurial, and Inclusive archive for the 21st Century for anyone, from anywhere to experience over the next decade.
Over the course of the last decade, we have worked hard to demonstrate why archives of all kinds are essential resources for democracy and vital assets for future generations. We have worked in partnership with a wide range of institutions on collections-based, digital and research projects; contributed to the promotion of the nation’s cultures to audiences overseas; and worked with others as proud members of international bodies who champion the preservation of physical and digital documentary heritage. We partner with people and their organisations to develop digital archiving best practice and solutions, and we promote the social and economic value archives bring to people the world over.
We have learned that greater collaboration allows us to grow and develop as an institution. Our next international steps must form a meaningful and insightful part of a diverse international community. In an evolving global environment, we want to join other archives to become distinctive and influential voices for documentary heritage on a global scale. We know that the nature of the challenges we face will continue to change, that we cannot be passive, and most importantly, that we cannot solve these challenges or take advantage of the opportunities alone.
Our refreshed international plan, Archives for Everywhere, outlines three key areas – Access, Practice, and Value – on which we will focus our efforts to realise this global potential.
Read our case studies to learn how we’re working in partnership with archives and other institutions worldwide.
Our collections are a world resource. We have promised to foster a sense of belonging and to make our archives available to anyone, from anywhere.
- Leveraging our collections and expertise, we contribute to the UK Government’s cultural and diplomatic efforts by fostering partnerships. By the end of December 2023, we will have consolidated and formalised a programme of cultural diplomacy activities, making our work more proactive, particularly with underrepresented or marginalised parts of the world.
- Our globally significant collection will be used to inform diverse projects, bringing underrepresented voices and stories to the fore, and by working more closely with others to achieve shared outcomes. By the end of January 2024, we will have completed an audit of our international collaborative projects (both current and new) and reviewed what we’ve learned to develop further diverse, equitable and inclusive methods with measurable impacts.
The world is changing, and it demands archives change too. We will develop and establish sustainable, inclusive, and digital practices for the future.
- We will continue to test and evaluate how our users experience our collections, building on what we learn to develop archival practices for a more diverse set of individuals and communities. By the end of December 2023, we will have measured the global impact of our collection outside of direct Discovery use. For example, with insights gained from our licensing and commercial partnerships, our marketing and communications campaigns, and our media profile.
- We will work to develop methods that generate social and economic value, in line with our long-term strategic, commercial, and socio-economic ambitions. By the end of March 2024, we will have combined our international grant funding and income generation objectives with our Commercial strategy for more effective delivery.
Archives create value. We will work with partners at home and around the globe to identify opportunities to generate value – social and economic – from the collections and expertise archives can provide.
- As a national archive, we share problems with other archives and institutions. We will help one another find collaborative solutions in varied, unexpected, and mutually beneficial spaces. By the end of June 2024, we will have created an international training and/or consultancy programme designed to be delivered in partnership with other participants for mutual benefit.