Explore Your Archive is a campaign designed for archives of all kinds throughout the UK and Ireland. In this section you will find a downloadable toolkit as well as how to tips to help you create events and promote stories relevant to your collections and communities. The aim of the campaign is to increase public awareness of the essential role of archives in our society, to celebrate our network of collections and emphasise the skills and professionalism of the sector.

The Explore Your Archive campaign, which is coordinated by The National Archives and the Archives and Records Association (UK and Ireland), is now in its third year. This year the main launch week for the Explore Your Archive campaign will run from 14 to 22 November 2015.

Start using the toolkit now

Take a look at the toolkit and start thinking about how you might take part. The toolkit can be used for any event you are planning, but is particularly useful ahead of the annual launch week. When you are ready to develop your stories, you can download all the relevant materials below, including artwork and a template press release.

Download the toolkit below to find everything you need to take part in Explore Your Archive:

Explore Your Archive toolkit (PDF, 7.82MB)

Explore Your Archive Event Template (XLS, 0.03MB)

Explore your archive mini toolkit 2015 (PDF, 0.74MB)

Explore Your Archive social media evaluation form (DOC, 1.45MB)

Explore Your Archive social media plan toolkit (PDF, 0.30MB)

Explore Your Archive downloadable resources (ZIP, 14.48MB)

Posters, templates and social media tips (ZIP, 8.40MB)

Archi've Remembered poster PowerPoint template (ZIP, 1.61MB)

Posters for 2014 (ZIP, 34.67MB)

Magna Carta toolkit (PDF, 0.74MB)

Magna Carta toolkit materials (ZIP, 31.64MB)

Magna Carta Mini Toolkit - Extra Images (ZIP, 0.99MB)

Story box animation

This Explore Your Archive story box animation video is designed to be used on all archive websites in the United Kingdom and Ireland. You can embed the video from Vimeo by clicking on 'Share' and copying the link address into your CMS editor or webpage.

Alternatively you can download the video directly:

Story box animation video (ZIP, 3.45MB)

Activities in 2014

The campaign week for 2014 built on what was achieved in 2013, with over 200 archives taking part, a BBC Breakfast show appearance, and over 6.5 million people reached through social media. See the social media and web engagement analysis of the 2014 campaign and the Explore Your Archives 2014 Evaluation.

The key findings in 2014 were:
  • more archvies took part
  • the vast majority felt EYA 2014 was a success for their service and for the sector
  • over one third of archives learned new skills
  • EYA website rated very highly and used by most archives
  • high level of engagement with digitial campaigns via social media

For 2015 we are:

  • encouraging more archives to participate in the launch week - whether they are big or small, there is something in the campaign for every archive
  • publicising the campaign week earlier with a view to reaching more archives and encouraging more participation
  • continuing to build on the skills people have and introducing some new ones such as the periscope app
  • redesigned our website making it easier to upload details of events taking place and including a search facility so that you can look for events taking place in your area
  • sending out a social media plan giving examples and tips of how you can engage with your audience

The Explore Your Archive toolkit for 2015 include: 

  • ready-to-use artwork, and a new set of artwork to support First World War activities 
  • case studies and hints and tips from events and activities that worked well in the 2013 Explore Your Archive campaign 
  • new advice on best use of social media 
  • new Explore Your Archive marketing material 
  • further development of the public website - exploreyourarchive.org   

Badges and pencils

We produced a family of badges which included Archi've Explored and Arch'ive Discovered. If you would like to order your free badges, please email ara@archives.org.uk stating whether you would like a mixture of badges or just Archi've Remembered. Usually we will send 100 badges.

For a pack of 100 assorted Explore Your Archive pencils, please email ara@archives.org.uk.

Explore Your Archives 2014 Evaluation (PDF, 0.35MB)

Contact us

For any enquiries about how to use the toolkit, or to find out more, please get in touch: exploreyourarchive@nationalarchives.gov.uk  

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